JDRF Comments on New Data from the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study Showing a 21 Percent Increase in Type 1 Diabetes Among American Youth

Shawn Rhea, (212) 479-7510; srhea@jdrf.org

May 3, 2014, New York, NY–Richard Insel, M.D., chief scientific officer of JDRF, issued the following statement today in response to a new study showing an increase in type 1 diabetes (T1D) among young people in the United States. According to the latest SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study 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 years rose by 21 percent between 2001 and 2009.


“The new SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study data showing a 21 percent increase in the prevalence of type 1 diabetes among children and teens over eight years highlights the crucial need for research into ways to better manage and, ultimately, prevent and cure this life-threatening disease. The data confirm what JDRF and many public health experts have long suspected: The incidence of type 1 diabetes is on the rise in youth across all ethnic groups in the United States, and the disease is now having a more significant impact on black and Hispanic youth populations, which previously had relatively low rates of the disease.

“As the study’s authors noted, the increased prevalence of type 1 diabetes among a more diverse population of children and teens is also of concern since many minority youth have historically experienced poorer glycemic control, which is known to be associated with diabetic complications. The broadening impact of this disease is among the many reasons that JDRF is committed to delivering therapies that help keep people with type 1 diabetes healthy and safe now while we work towards a cure.

“The SEARCH study also underlines the need for continued support of programs like the federal Special Diabetes Program, which provided funding for this study and also funds crucial basic research into the causes and mechanisms of type 1 diabetes, as well as efforts to cure, treat, and prevent it.

“Type 1 diabetes creates a serious health and financial burden for people with the disease and their families. The day-to-day need to measure blood-sugar levels, take insulin, and watch every bite of food is particularly daunting for children and teens, and it is a burden that JDRF is committed to ending through our sustained leadership in type 1 diabetes research.”


About the SEARCH Study
SEARCH is the largest surveillance effort of diabetes among youth under the age of 20 years conducted in the United States to date. The study covers five clinical centers located in California, Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington.

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.

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research.  JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D.  JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D.  As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF is currently funding $568 million in scientific research in 17 countries.