The American Diabetes Association and JDRF have teamed up on a new book that will help health care providers understand exactly that: The best and most recent research on how to diagnose and treat type 1 diabetes, as well as where the biggest gaps lie in our knowledge. Type 1 diabetes is growing at epidemic proportions in the United States and around the world; the number of youth diagnosed annually has doubled in the last 25 years, and it is expected to double yet again in the next 15 to 20 years.
The American Diabetes Association/JDRF Type 1 Diabetes Sourcebook serves as both an evidence-based reference outlining the most critical components of care for individuals with type 1 diabetes throughout their entire lives. It also reviews the evidence supporting this care and provides a perspective on the critical areas of research that are needed to improve our understanding of type 1 diabetes diagnosis and treatment.
Roughly 5 to 10 percent of the nearly 26 million Americans with diabetes have type 1 diabetes, which is typically (though not always) diagnosed in childhood. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body can no longer produce insulin—as compared to type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or fails to properly use the insulin it does produce. Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity and being overweight, whereas type 1 diabetes is not linked to weight.
The book addresses focuses on knowledge of type 1 diabetes, as most clinical standards of care are based largely on what experts know about type 2 diabetes, because it is the most common form of the disease. However, type 1 and type 2, while similar, are not identical diseases and do not call for identical treatment, nor are prevention strategies the same. For example, people with type 1 diabetes, who are on insulin, may need to test their blood glucose levels 10 times or more a day, whereas someone with type 2 diabetes would likely need to test less often.
While researchers remain hopeful about advances that will eventually help prevent type 1 diabetes, the book also highlights the need to provide the best possible care using what is already known, to avoid complications and improve quality of life for all people with type 1 diabetes.
Funding for the development of the Type 1 Diabetes Sourcebook came from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. It was co-edited by Anne L. Peters, MD, and Lori Laffel, MD, MPH. Dr. Peters is the Director of the University of Southern California Clinical Diabetes Program. Dr. Laffel is Chief of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Section at the Joslin Clinic and an Investigator in the Section on Genetics and Epidemiology at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, as well as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
To develop the content, Peters and Laffel assembled an editorial steering committee of prominent research physicians, clinicians and educators. In addition, Jane Chiang, MD, joined the project as managing editor to help the authors write and focus their chapters. Just this week, Dr. Chiang joined the Association as our new Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs and Community Information.
With this new publication, diabetes care providers have a definitive roadmap based on the best available information to support the health needs of ALL people with type 1, so they can lead the healthiest lives possible. Here’s to living well with diabetes!