Oral health, childhood obesity, cancer and nutrition therapy are among the dimensions of diabetes that national experts will explore for health professionals at West Virginia University Extension Services renowned diabetes symposium Oct. 24-26 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston.

Diabetes Symposium and WorkshopBridging the Gap with Education 2007is open to dentists, dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, health educators and other health professionals who work with people who have diabetes.

Diabetes is the leading cause of death in West Virginia adults, and more than 8 percent of the states population has the disease, according to Dr. Guen Brown, WVU Extension nutrition and health professor, who organized the first symposium and workshop in 2000.

Diabetes is a serious and costly disease that has become too common, she said. It is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputations, pregnancy complications and deaths related to flu and pneumonia.

WVU Extension brings specialists to West Virginia, she said, to make it easier for the states health care professionals to improve their skills in helping families manage diabetes and prevent complications. At each symposium, experts share the latest research in diabetes management concerning diet, exercise, medication and other protocols.

Returning this year is Dr. Tim Church. A physician and researcher, he is popular among the general public and the medical community. Frequently cited as an expert on obesity and exercise, he has been interviewed by NBC sToday Show, USA Today, TIME magazine, Reuters, The Washington Post and CNN . He will speak at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25.

An accredited program, the symposium can provide continuing education hours for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, dentists, dietitians, dietary managers, social workers, community heath education specialists and American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences members.

The symposium is organized by the WVU Extension Service, WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center and the West Virginia Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.

For registration details and other program information, visit the symposiums Web site (www.ext.wvu.edu/dsw2007/) or call Brown at 304-293-2796 ext. 3424.