Launch of global type 1 diabetes index

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JDRF is a global advocacy and research organization for type 1 diabetes (T1D). JDRF has announced the launch of the Type 1 Diabetes Index. The T1D Index, a data simulation tool that measures human and public health impacts of the T1D epidemic in all countries around the world, is the first-of-its kind. There have been many gaps in data regarding the incidence and impact T1D. The T1D Index provides insight and data that can be used to improve the lives of those living with T1D. It can identify country-specific interventions that can be implemented in order to provide timely diagnosis, access to care, and funding for research that could lead towards cures.

The T1D Index has been published with the accompanying research. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

T1D, an autoimmune condition, is one of the fastest-growing chronic diseases. It affects nearly nine million people around the world. While risk factors such as family history and lifestyle can increase the likelihood of developing T1D, it is not caused by poor diet or lifestyle. T1D causes the pancreas to make very little insulin or none at all—this means the human body cannot convert food into energy, which can lead to long-term complications including damage to the kidneys, eyes, nerves, heart and even premature death. There is currently no treatment for T1D.

Aaron Kowalski Ph.D., JDRF CEO said, “As a member to the T1D Community, I know that many are not as fortunate to have the resources necessary for a healthy, fulfilled life.” “This is the reason I am so proud of significant progress in understanding T1D and its global impact through T1D Index. We are asking governments and public health decision-makers around the globe to use the tool in order to identify and implement interventions that could change the trajectory of T1D.

JDRF collaborated with key partners and experts around the world to develop the T1D Index—using the results from a global survey of more than 500 endocrinologists and 400 publications to simulate the state of T1D globally and at the country level.

The Index is unique in its ability to highlight the human burden of T1D. This includes “missing persons,” which is the number people who would still live today if they didn’t die early from complications from T1D; and “healthy year lost,” which is time lost to T1D-related ill-health, disability, or death.

The T1D Index simulations suggest that globally, more than 3.86million people are “missing” and that 32 “healthy year” per person is lost to T1D if diagnosed before age 10.

T1D presents a profound human, emotional and financial burden for those who live with it—and prevalence is on the rise. The T1D Index simulations have identified four key interventions that could alter the current trajectory of T1D, and its impact on people all over the world.

  • Timely diagnosis: It allows medical professionals to receive better education and training in order to accurately diagnose T1D. A global population that has timely diagnosis is possible by 2023 could mean that 668,000 more people will be alive in 2040.
  • Insulin and strips: providing barrier-free access for insulin and blood glucose testing strip. If the world population has access insulin and testing strips starting in 2023, with coaching to manage the condition, then 1.98 million more people will be alive by 2040.
  • Pumps and CGMs: To ensure that everyone with T1D has technology that automates glucose monitoring, insulin delivery, and other related functions. If everyone with T1D could have access to the technology starting in 2023, then 673,000 more people will be alive by 2040.
  • Prevention and cures: arguing for more investment and research in emerging treatments, prevention, and cures. If we find cures, 890,000. More people could live in 2040.

Once interventions have been identified at the country and global levels, the T1D Index encourages users share the data and findings with their networks, local decision makers, as well as connecting with other T1D advocates within their communities.

The T1D Index provides information about important statistics regarding the burden of T1D worldwide, including:

  • T1D prevalence rates have increased four-fold since 2000, at four times global population growth.
  • The estimated number of people with T1D by 2040 is 17.43 million.
  • Projections for the number of “missing persons” in 2040 are 6.85 million.

A new report shows alarming growth in the diabetes pandemic.

More information:
Gabriel A Gregory and colleagues, Global incidence, prevalence, mortality, and complications of type 1 diabetes in 2021, with projections to 2040: A modelling study. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology (2022). DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(22)00218-2

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