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Joslin discovers signs of residual islet cell function in people with long-term type 1 diabetes

nical parameters, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, body mass index and daily insulin dose. The data shows no significant difference in clinical parameters for participants with or without c-peptide. For example, the average total cholesterol of the c-peptide positive participants was 146 compared to 162 for the participants who did not produce c-peptide.

"If we could find out the reason for their lack of complications, we could perhaps prevent kidney or eye disease," said Dr. King. The study has been investigating whether other factors, such as lifestyle or longevity genes, play a role in the development of complications, reported Dr. Keenan.

Overall, the study opens new avenues for research and treatment of type 1 diabetes. "The findings suggest that many patients, even after many years of diabetes, may still have some residual islet function. If a way can be found to stimulate islet growth, we could improve their diabetes and reduce insulin usage or better control blood glucose levels. If islets were returned to normal levels, they wouldn't need to take insulin," said Dr. King.

Of the 326 Joslin 50-Year Medalist Study respondents who have completed an extensive health questionnaire, 175 were female and 151 were male, with an average age of 70 years. The average age of diabetes onset was 13 years and average duration of type 1 diabetes 57 years. The data collected so far show that individuals who have survived 50 years or more have a greatly reduced risk of nephropathy and retinopathy.


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Source:Joslin Diabetes Center


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