‘First-of-its-kind’ Type 1 Diabetes Index launched

By Editor
22nd September 2022
Good practice, Type 1 diabetes

An international research organisation has launched a type 1 diabetes index to raise awareness of the burden and unmet needs of people living with the condition. 

JDRF’s new index is a first-of-its-kind data simulation tool that measures the human and public health impact of the type 1 diabetes crisis in every country across the globe.

Until now, there have been wide gaps in the data about the incidence and impact of type 1 diabetes.

Leveraging data and insights from the Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Index can help change the lives of people living with the condition by identifying attainable country-by-country interventions, including timely diagnosis, accessible care and funding research that could lead to cures.

The T1D Index and accompanying research has been published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition and one of the fastest-growing chronic health conditions, impacting nearly nine million people across the globe. Certain factors like family history can increase risk, but it is not caused by diet or lifestyle.

Dr Aaron Kowalski, CEO of JDRF, said: “As a member of the type 1 diabetes community, I know many are not as fortunate as I am to have the resources necessary to live a healthy and fulfilled life.

“This is why I am so proud that significant progress has been made to understand type 1 diabetes’ global impact through the T1D Index.”

He added: “We are calling on government and public health decision makers throughout the word to utilise the tool to identify and implement interventions that can change the trajectory of type 1 diabetes.”

Karen Addington, Chief Executive at JDRF UK said: ”JDRF has always funded the best research in the world beyond borders.

“We understand that we have a global responsibility to the type 1 diabetes community. This new, robust analysis of the impact of type 1 diabetes puts us in a stronger position to demand greater access to treatments for people with type 1, no matter where in the world they may live.”

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 the condition globally and at the country level.

The Index uniquely illuminates the human burden of type 1 diabetes by highlighting ‘missing people,’ which is the number of people who would still be alive today if they had not died early due to complications from the condition, and ‘healthy years lost,’ which represents time lost to ill-health, disability or early death from living with type 1 diabetes.

Simulations from the T1D Index suggest that globally as of 2022 there are more than 3.86 million ‘missing people’ and an average of 32 ‘healthy years lost’ per person, if diagnosed at age 10.

Type 1 diabetes has a profound human, emotional and financial burden for those who live with it and prevalence is on the rise.

Simulations from the T1D Index have led to the identification of four key interventions that could change the current trajectory for type 1 diabetes and its impact on people around the world:

  • Timely diagnosis: enabling better education and training for medical professionals to accurately diagnose type 1 diabetes. If the global population has access to timely diagnosis from 2023, 668,000 more people could be alive in 2040.
  • Insulin and strips: creating barrier-free access to insulin and blood glucose testing strips. If the global population has access to insulin and testing strips from 2023, and coaching to self-manage the condition, 1.98 million more people could be alive in 2040.
  • Pumps and CGMs: ensuring everyone living with type 1 diabetes has access to technology that automates glucose monitoring and insulin delivery. 673,000 more people could be alive in 2040 if everyone with type 1 diabetes has access to the technology available from 2023.
  • Prevention and cures: making the case for further investment and research in emerging prevention, treatments and cures. 890,000 more people could be alive in 2040 if we find a cure.

Once interventions are identified on the global and country level, the T1D Index encourages users to take action by sharing the data and findings with their networks and local decision makers and connecting with other type 1 diabetes advocates in their communities.

Additionally, the T1D Index shines a light on important statistics about the burden of type 1 diabetes globally, including:

  • Since 2000, type 1 diabetes prevalence has increased at four times the rate of global population growth.
  • The expected number of people living with type 1 diabetes in 2040 will be 17.43 million.
  • The number of ‘missing people’ in the year 2040 is projected to be 6.85 million.

The T1D Index data simulations are the best estimate currently available with version 1.0 testing to +/- 6 percent against real-world data.

This is a significant improvement from leading existing estimates that test to +/- 35 percent against the same data. It is a collaborative development by JDRF, Life for a ChildInternational Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD)International Diabetes Federation (IDF), and Beyond Type 1.

The T1D Index is supported by founding corporate sponsor, Abbott Diabetes Care, with additional support from Lilly, Vertex Pharmaceuticals and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

In future releases, the Index will expand to include the impact of type 1 diabetes on economic costs, mental health and quality of life. The data will also be broken down at regional and demographic levels.

You can learn more about the T1D Index here.

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