Prof. Chantal Mathieu
Professor, endocrinologist & President of the Flemish Diabetes Society
The end of Type 1 diabetes as we know it
Diabetes is a global health problem, with more than 500 million people affected worldwide. Diabetes is one of the leading non-communicable diseases in the world, with mortality and morbidity (e.g. blindness and cardiovascular disease) numbers worrying patients and their families, but also healthcare systems and payers. Research has brought many innovations, with novel glucose lowering agents and novel ways to measure blood glucose.
A small percentage (~5%) of all people with diabetes suffer from type 1 diabetes. This disease finds its onset typically at young age and demands exogenous insulin therapy for survival. Considering the dramatic impact of this disease on quality of life, much of the innovation in diabetes research is originating in type 1 diabetes. Research has evolved extremely rapidly, from the discovery of insulin in the twenties of the past century, to novel insulins, artificial intelligence in decision support, insulin pumps and transplantation, with even the hope of prevention of cure on the horizon. Therefore, the end of type 1 diabetes as was classically know is here and the innovations in this disease are driving solutions in the whole of diabetes.