Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Providing Free Screening for Type 1 Diabetes as Part of National Research Study
Santa Clara, CA. Every year the number of Type 1 diabetes cases rise about 3%. The exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is not known, but because of new genetic and antibody tests, researchers can predict who is at risk for developing the disease. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, in conjunction with Stanford Hospital and Clinics, is 1 of approximately 200 screening sites in the United States conducting these new tests, which can help identify the onset of the disease as much as 10 years before symptoms start.
As many as three million Americans have Type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the body's ability to make insulin, the hormone that makes it possible for people to get energy from food. Type 1 diabetes is different from the more widespread Type 2 diabetes, which can be controlled and prevented with diet, exercise and medication.
Cases of Type 1 diabetes, previously called juvenile diabetes because it is often diagnosed in young people, have been growing. A rate of about 3% each year means roughly 30,000 new cases are diagnosed every year, about half of them being adults.
Through the national research efforts of Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, screening tests are being offered to family members of people with Type 1 diabetes because studies have shown they have a 15 times greater risk of developing the condition than the general population. The information gathered from patients will be used to further national efforts to prevent or cure the disease.
“If you have a first or second degree relative with Type 1 diabetes, getting a free screening through TrialNet not only helps you understand your risk of developing Type 1 diabetes, but can help us learn what can be done to hopefully prevent this type of diabetes in high-risk individuals” said Dr. Tyler Aguinaldo, Director, Diabetes Center, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
While the exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is not known, researchers are finding that a combination of hereditary and environmental factors can be triggers. In one study in the U.S. and Europe, half a million newborns have been screened for genetic risk, and more than 8,000 children at the highest risk are being followed to determine if diet and exposure to infectious agents like viruses could be a factor in the development of diabetes. For reasons that are not clear, the disease is increasing at its fastest rate in children under age 5.
To participate in the study at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, you must be:
The goal of this study is to learn more about how Type 1 diabetes develops in “at risk” individuals. For more information about participating in the local study, contact Jackie Phan at 408-793-6055. For more information on the diabetes trials nationwide go to www.diabetestrialnet.org