New York, NY, June 11, 2012—Jeffrey Brewer, president and CEO of JDRF, the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, issued the following statement today in response to a new study showing an increase in T1D among young people in the United States. According to the latest SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the prevalence of T1D in people under age 20 rose by 23 percent between 2001 and 2009.
"This alarming growth in T1D, if unabated, means the prevalence of the disease would double for every future generation, resulting in massive new health care spending in federal entitlement programs and the private health care market," said Mr. Brewer. "But even as the T1D rate rises, researchers funded by JDRF and other private foundations, coupled with federal initiatives like the Special Diabetes Program, are making remarkable strides across an array of diabetes research frontiers, from treatments to reverse vision loss, to technology like the artificial pancreas, to vaccines, and to new forms of insulin.
"Today's data dramatizes the critical importance—not just to patients and their families, but also to the entire nation—of a sustained and undiminished commitment to programs like the Special Diabetes Program, so future generations of young Americans are not consigned to this life-threatening disease."
SEARCH is the largest surveillance effort of diabetes among youth under the age of 20 conducted in the United States to date. The study covers five clinical centers located in California, Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington. The study included more than 20,000 participants representing all different racial and ethnic backgrounds. In addition to showing a 23 percent increase in the prevalence of T1D in young people under age 20, the study also found that the rate of incidence, or new diagnoses, of T1D in this population is rising by 2.7 percent every year.
The SEARCH study is jointly funded by the Division of Diabetes Translation at the CDC and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the NIH, with resources from the government-funded Special Diabetes Program (SDP), which will expire if not renewed by Congress.
Mr. Brewer continued: "Studies like these provide valuable insight into T1D prevalence and incidence rates in the United States. Without the SDP, these studies would not be possible."
About the Special Diabetes Program (SDP)
The SDP is a government-funded program made up of two parts: one to advance T1D research, and the other to fund treatment and prevention programs for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, who are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes.
Since inception, the SDP has demonstrated tangible results. The program has enabled scientists to make significant advances in cure therapies, prevention studies and treatment improvements (including the artificial pancreas), and is an essential component of the federal diabetes research investment. The SDP must be renewed this year to continue large-scale interventional and observational trials, proactively plan next steps to maximize research opportunities, and most effectively allocate research dollars without interruption.
JDRF is the leading global organization focused on Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal.
Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.6 billion to diabetes research. Past JDRF efforts have helped to significantly advance the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education.
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