Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a well-known disease, but it is one that scientists have yet to find a way to prevent or cure. The exact cause is unknown because it is believed that both genetics and environment play a role. While significant advances have been made in understanding and managing T1D over the years, it is still a disease that affects nearly 1.6 million Americans.
A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that the number of people diagnosed with T1D has increased by 30 percent since 2017. That is an alarming change. Breaking things down even further, it appears that the greatest increases have occurred among African American, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander children, with each group seeing an approximate 20 percent rise in cases between 2002 and 2015. When it comes to age, new diagnoses of T1D occurred most frequently in children between the ages of 5 and 14.
Overall, the CDC reports that approximately 1.4 million adults and 187,000 children in the United States are currently living with T1D. Unlike type 2 diabetes, T1D is not related to diet or lifestyle. For reasons that are not yet entirely understood, the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells leaving the body unable to effectively regulate blood sugar levels. Researchers have found many ways to support individuals in better monitoring and managing the disease, but they have not found a way to stop it from occurring or to cure it once it does.
That is why ongoing research and clinical trials are so important. They are vital to improving how the disease is managed and reducing complications, as well as one day finding a cure. Diabetes Research Connection provides early-career scientists with up to $75,000 in funding so that they can move forward with novel, peer-reviewed research studies focused on type 1 diabetes. This funding makes it possible for them to continue building the body of knowledge around the disease and exploring new treatment options. To learn more about how to support these efforts, visit https://diabetesresearchconnection.org.