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Webinar ‘Screening and Prevention, why is it needed?’

23. November 2021

250 people registered to the joint JDRF International - INNODIA - European DiabetesForum (EUDF) event.

World leading experts Prof. Peter Achenbach, Prof. Chantal Mathieu, Prof. Marian Rewers and Dr. Sanjoy Dutta explained the cost-effectiveness of large-scale screening for type 1 diabetes.

Patients often experience a delay in diagnosis and care because 90% have no family history of type 1 diabetes and are less likely to recognize disease symptoms. As a consequence, patients experience complications that could have been avoided with a more timely diagnosis. Therefore screening, but also raising diabetes awareness and increasing knowledge about the condition in the general population is crucial.

Pre-symptomatic type 1 diabetes should be identified early to educate caregivers with regard to symptoms of hyperglycemia and to allow timely diagnosis before onset of potentially life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). The cost of people being admitted to the hospital for DKA treatment is a lot higher than the cost for screening, which could prevent this serious complication.

Prof. Mathieu and Prof. Achenbach also stressed the importance of novel trial design and the ongoing intervention studies. Better treatment and clinical trials need to move forward!

A very powerful contribution to the Webinar, were the testimonies of two patients in the panel, sharing their experiences and expressing their outspoken opinion about the importance of screening. What does it mean to them? The answer was loud and clear. One was grateful for the opportunity he’d been given to be screened. Knowing he was at risk, no matter how hard this may have been, gave him a chance to go in follow up and time to mentally prepare for the inevitable, before the disease even occurred. The other patient underwent a complete opposite experience. For her, diagnosis came as a total surprise, because there was no family history. Symptoms for type 1 diabetes were repeatedly missed, which unfortunately resulted in a coma and a emerged hospitalization.

Early intervention in the entire population is key and needs to be implemented in standard care!