order to prevent and ultimately achieve a world without type 1 diabetes (T1D),
we must first learn more about the disease.
One trend that has revealed itself in recent years is an accelerating
rate of T1D, especially among younger children.
Last year, the SEARCH for
Diabetes in Youth study reported that the prevalence of T1D in people under age 20 in the
U.S. rose by 23
between 2001 and 2009. Other studies
have shown that in European children one to five years of age, the incidence of
T1D is increasing at
a rate of 5.4 percent annually.
increase in T1D creates additional urgency for research to understand and
ultimately prevent and cure the disease.
It also speaks to the need for more studies to gather data about T1D
incidence rates and how they’re changing over time.
that in mind, new research from the Philadelphia Pediatric Diabetes Registry revealed the
incidence of type 1 diabetes among children
in Philadelphia under age 5 increased by 70 percent in the past two
decades. Furthermore, the study found
overall T1D incidence in the city’s children up to age 14, increased by 29
percent from 1985 to 2004 (the average yearly rate of increase was 1.5 percent). The research, led by Dr. Terri H. Lipman of
the University of
Pennsylvania School of Nursing, draws upon data from the only active U.S. diabetes registry,
which Dr. Lipman has maintained since 1985.
Dr. Lipman’s findings published in the recent issue of Diabetes Care, shed insight on the rising rate of diabetes in children in
Philadelphia, they also highlight the importance of diabetes data centers in
the U.S. and throughout the world.
According to Dr. Lipman, improving and continuing research and data
collection will help clarify the origins and epidemiology of these upward
trends in pediatric diabetes. This knowledge will lead to a better
understanding of T1D and will inform work to prevent and cure the disease.
JDRF did not fund this particular study, part of JDRF’s strategy is to drive research
aimed at slowing and
preventing the progression of T1D. As part of the program’s top priority areas, JDRF
supports research studies following people over time who have, or are at risk
of developing T1D to better characterize the disease process. JDRF’s recent
News Blog entry, T1D Rise Among Youth Highlights the
Importance of Renewed Research Funding shares
an overview on such JDRF-funded prevention studies, including: