Type 1 Diabetes Facts
Although type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a serious and challenging disease, long-term management options continue to evolve, allowing those with T1D to enjoy full and active lives.
Better Understanding T1D
We are currently investigating ways to prevent T1D, but there is still no known cure.
T1D is an autoimmune disease that occurs when a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, the hormone that controls blood-sugar levels. T1D develops when the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. The cause of this attack is still being researched, however scientists believe the cause may have genetic and environmental components.
Who gets T1D
Type 1 diabetes (sometimes known as juvenile diabetes) affects children and adults, although people can be diagnosed at any age. With a typically quick onset, T1D must be managed with the use of insulin—either via injection or insulin pump. With advances in research, people who are insulin dependent may soon also be able to use artificial pancreas systems to automatically administer their insulin.
How T1D is managed
Type 1 diabetes is a 24/7 disease that requires constant management. People with T1D continuously and carefully balance insulin intake against eating, exercise and other activities. They must also measure blood-sugar levels through finger pricks, ideally at least six times a day, or by wearing a flash or continuous glucose monitor.
Even with a strict regimen, people with T1D may still experience dangerously high or low blood-glucose levels that can in extreme cases, be life threatening. Living with T1D means becoming actively involved in daily disease management.
Insulin is not a cure
While insulin therapy keeps people with T1D alive and can help keep blood-glucose levels within recommended range, it is not a cure, nor does it prevent the possibility of T1D’s serious effects.
The outlook for treatments and a cure
Although T1D is a serious and challenging disease, long-term management options continue to evolve, allowing those with T1D to enjoy full and active lives.
JDRF is driving research to lessen the impact of T1D on people’s lives until a cure is achieved.
Facts and Figures
Canadians may have T1D. Nationally, the average incidence rate has been growing at an estimated 5.1% per year – higher than the global average.1
children worldwide develop T1D each year.2
1 IN 4
individuals with T1D are diagnosed as adults.3
Total health care costs resulting from diabetes in Canada is expected to increase to over $16.9 billion (CAD) annually by 2020.4
Parents, children and siblings of individuals with T1D have a tenfold greater risk of developing the disease than the rest of the population.5
The prevalence of T1D among children up to age 19 increased 21% between 2001 and 2009.6
of people living with T1D are adults.7
At least 25%
of people with T1D are diagnosed as adults. Although most people are diagnosed as children, it is not just a child’s disease.
- DIAMOND Project Group. Incidence and trends of childhood Type 1 diabetes worldwide 1990-1999. Diabet Med. 2006;23 (8): 857-866.
- International Diabetes Federation, Diabetes Atlas 2015, North America overview.
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus: etiology, presentation, and management. Haller MJ, Atkinson MA, Schatz D Pediatr Clin North Am. 2005 Dec; 52(6):1553-78.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, study published in 2014, American Medical Association. Canadian Diabetes Association, An economic tsunami: the cost of diabetes in Canada. Dec 2009.
- Davidson JK, ed. Clinical diabetes mellitus. A problem-oriented approach. 2 ed. New York, NY: Thieme Medical Publishers, 2000.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, study published in 2014, American Medical Association.
- Type 1 Diabetes, 2010; Prime Group for JDRF, Mar 2011.