Opportunities To Highlight Type 1 Diabetes In November

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Diabetes Awareness Month, in November, and World Diabetes Day (Nov. 14) present outstanding opportunities to educate the public about type 1 diabetes screening and promising research taking place at medical centers throughout the country.

-- The theme for this year's World Diabetes Day--Diabetes in Children and Adolescents--is an especially appropriate focus given the increased incidence of type 1 diabetes among children, particularly in those under age 5.

-- In response to this trend, leading diabetes researchers across the globe have joined forces through Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, an international network led by the National Institutes of Health that is exploring ways to prevent and delay type 1 diabetes.

-- Former Miss America Nicole Johnson (1999), who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 19, is available to talk about her experience and why she's decided to have her 2-year-old daughter screened for the earliest signs of the disease. Nicole Johnson is currently helping NIH researchers promote a simple blood test that may be able to detect an increased risk for type 1 diabetes up to 10 years before symptoms occur. TrialNet researchers at more than 150 locations are offering this research screening test to family members of people with type 1 diabetes.


-- Advance screening is important because people who are identified as being at increased risk--those who have the autoantibodies for type 1 diabetes--may be eligible to join research studies that are testing ways to prevent or delay the disease. Additionally, those who are found to already be in the early stages of type 1 diabetes may be eligible to participate in studies that are testing ways to slow down its progression.

-- If diabetes can be delayed, even for a few years, those at risk may be able to postpone the difficult challenges of trying to control their glucose levels and the potential development of complications. Potential complications of type 1 diabetes include heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney damage and lower-limb amputations.

-- Each year, more than 15,000 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It's the leading cause of diabetes in children and adolescents, far surpassing those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

-- An autoimmune disease, type 1 diabetes develops more often in children and young adults. In the U.S., the peak ages for diagnosis are between 11 and 14. Currently there are no known ways to prevent or reverse the disease. Unlike type 2 diabetes, which can sometimes be prevented or controlled by diet and exercise, type 1 diabetes requires a lifelong dependence on daily insulin injections.

-- We can put you in touch with TrialNet researchers, which include some of the world's leading experts on type 1 diabetes, who can discuss the latest developments in prevention, research and treatment. We can also connect you with your closest TrialNet medical center that is conducting free screening and provide you with access to the lead physician and people who are taking part in the screening process.