New hope for reducing type 1 diabetes complications

The fear of diabetes-related complications, like blindness and limb amputation, is something people with all types of diabetes sometimes experience but for people with type 1 diabetes diagnosed as children they have a lifetime to live with those fears.

However a new study, funded by the Diabetes Australia Research Trust, hopes to discover the best treatment strategies for reducing a person’s long-term risk.

Professor Kim Donaghue, from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, said the study would look at data from almost 2000 people with type 1 diabetes who were diagnosed before the age of 15.

“We’ll be looking at various aspects of their diabetes management including whether or not they use an insulin pump or multiple daily injections, how they are screened for complications, and data about their blood glucose levels and weight over time,” Professor Donaghue said.

“What we want to do is look at how these people develop and see if there are any patterns that can tell us about who is at the greatest risk of developing diabetes-related complications and what we can do to help prevent them.

“It might be a matter of genetic risks or it might be about who has access to care but if we can better predict who is more likely to develop complications, then we can do more the reduce their risk.”

Professor Donaghue’s research is one of 12 studies being funded across New South Wales in 2018 by the Diabetes Australia Research Program.

Find out how you can support the program here.