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World Diabetes Day Spotlights Type 1 Diabetes Increase and World Class Response

BETHESDA, Md., Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- World Diabetes Day, November 14, is observed every year by over 200 associations in more than 160 countries, and by others with an interest in diabetes. This year's theme, "prevention of diabetes in children and adolescents," provides an excellent opportunity to focus on the significant increase in type 1 diabetes in children and the research community's response.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers at more than 150 medical centers in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia have joined forces through Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, a global network dedicated to study the prevention, early detection and early treatment of type 1 diabetes. These centers are offering free screenings for relatives of people with type 1 diabetes to determine their risk of developing the disease. Those at increased risk can join research studies that are testing ways to prevent or delay type 1 diabetes.

Developing more often in children and young adults, type 1 diabetes is currently unpreventable, and a diagnosis means a lifelong commitment to insulin injections and monitoring for health complications. In contrast, type 2 diabetes occurs more often in adults, can sometimes be prevented or delayed through diet and exercise, and doesn't always require insulin injections.

"The number of people being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is increasing every year, reaching epidemic proportions in some countries," says Jay Skyler, M.D., Chairman of Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet and a Professor at the University of Miami's internationally renowned Diabetes Research Institute. "The greatest change is an increased rate of diabetes in children under age five," he adds.

In response, diabetes researchers around the world have been working to advance the study, prevention and treatment of type 1 diabetes. As a result, the way the disease is detected and treated is dramatically changing. A simple blood test can now reveal a person's risk for type 1 diabetes up to 10 years before diagnosis.

If diabetes can be delayed, even for a few years, those at risk may be able to postpone the difficult challenges of trying to control their glucose levels and the potential development of serious complications. The serious complications of diabetes include heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney damage and lower-limb amputations

In addition, Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet is preparing to launch several new studies in early 2008 for people newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The group is also collaborating with the Immune Tolerance Network, also funded by NIH, to perform studies aimed at the protection of beta cells in people recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

These researchers are working together to answer such critical questions as:

-- Can insulin taken by mouth once a day prevent or delay type 1 diabetes

in some people at risk for the disease?

-- Is it possible to turn off the body's immune attack that causes type 1

diabetes by administering certain antibodies that bind to and

temporarily destroy a specific class of immune cells?

-- Can certain drugs or combinations of drugs slow or arrest the

autoimmune response in type 1 diabetes?

-- Can an omega-3 fatty acid, naturally found in a mothers' breast milk

and some foods, have anti-inflammatory benefits that can prevent or

delay development of the autoimmunity leading to type 1 diabetes?

To learn more about free screening for type 1 diabetes risk and studies, call 1-800-HALT-DM1 (1-800-425-8361) or visit


On World Diabetes Day, November 14, from 12:00-1:30 p.m., a panel of internationally renowned type 1 diabetes experts will present an overview of the latest findings and theories and take questions from the media via teleconference. These experts, along with leading researchers from all over the world, will be in Miami the week of November 14 for two meetings to discuss the latest advances and ideas around type 1 diabetes research: The Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study Group will meet November 12-14, and the 9th International Congress of the Immunology of Diabetes Society (IDS) and American Diabetes Association (ADA) Research Symposium, will meet November 14-18.


Please contact: Sarah Bakka,, 301-348-1685


-- Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet:

-- Immunology of Diabetes Society:

-- American Diabetes Association:

-- Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International:

-- Immune Tolerance Network, visit

-- World Diabetes Day:

Contact: Sarah Bakka,, 301.348.1685

SOURCE Diabetes TrialNet
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