By 2020, new cases of Type 1 diabetes in children younger than 5 are expected to double if current trends continue, according to a study published in The Lancet. Diabetes is an epidemic, with numbers of those suffering from diabetes and its complications increasing worldwide. The International Diabetes Foundation estimates there are 246 million adults worldwide suffering from diabetes today; by 2025, the figure is expected to reach 380 million.

According to a study in Diabetes Care, the associated health care cost of treating diabetes patients in the United States is expected to double in the next 25 years, making the need for more efficient ways to treat diabetes essential.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), New York, is involved in research that will make an impact on these rising numbers of diabetes patients and the associated health care costs.

Among the research areas are an artificial pancreas program, now in clinical trials; complications therapies; and beta cell therapies that  aim to restore the body’s ability to make insulin.

Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.4 billion to diabetes research, including $101 million in FY2009.

[Source: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation]