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Number of people with type 1 diabetes could double by 2040

Currently, it is estimated that there are 8.4 million people with type 1 diabetes (T1D), a figure that is expected to double by 2040, to 13.5 to 17.4 million people with T1D. The findings are from the new online tool “T1D Index”, published this month in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, which warns that, in 2021, 3.7 million people died prematurely as a result of diabetes and that one in five was under 25 years old. .

Timely diagnosis, access to pumps that automate the administration of insulin with glucose monitoring and an investment in research, with a view to curing this type of diabetes, are the key points pointed out by the authors of the study to reduce the number of deaths associated with this type of diabetes. illness.

“We have an opportunity to save millions of lives over the next few decades by raising the standard of care (including ensuring universal access to insulin and other essentials) and raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of T1D to enable an 100% rate of early diagnosis worldwide,” the study authors state.

With this in mind, the Associação Protectora dos Diabéticos de Portugal (APDP), together with health units and a group of parents of young people with type 1 diabetes, launched a public petition “for access to hybrid continuous subcutaneous perfusion systems”. of insulin (insulin pumps) and the quality of life of people with type 1 diabetes in Portugal”. The petition, which has been signed by more than 16,000 citizens, can be read and signed here.

“As we look to the future, we quickly realize that these numbers place an enormous burden on both people living with type 1 diabetes and society as a whole. The guarantee of life and its quality must be everyone’s right and the availability of hybrid insulin pumps is imperative so that they can enjoy a significant improvement in their quality of life and health”, explains José Manuel Boavida, president of the APDP.

The hybrid or automatic insulin pump system is already a reality in Portugal, “but it still does not have the necessary reach and implies an unbearable value for families”, denounces the petition, which adds: “It is revolutionary in that it substantially improves the health of people with diabetes, allowing them to live almost as if they did not have diabetes. Using these pumps can provide children and young people with diabetes with better compensation, an 80% reduction in the number of finger pricks and a 95% reduction in the number of injections a person with type 1 diabetes has to give each year. This system contributes to a significant improvement in the quality of life of children, but also of their families and other caregivers”.

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The T1D Index makes it possible to measure how many people are living with type 1 diabetes, the years of healthy life they have and what can be done to reduce its impact. It was the first time that type 1 diabetes was measured in this way and on this scale.

In 2021, a total of 8.4 million people with T1D were estimated worldwide. Of these, 18% were under 20 years of age, 64% were between 20-59 years of age and 19% were over 60 years of age.

Following a petition promoted by the APDP, the Plenary of the Assembly of the Republic approved the implementation of a national register of type 1 diabetes. However, this registration is not yet done in Portugal.

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