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100th anniversary of insulin discovery, what’s next?

One hundred years ago in November, two Canadian researchers at the University of Toronto, Frederick Banting and Charles Best, discovered insulin, the life-saving drug for people with diabetes. What was once a death sentence is today a manageable condition with a tubeless insulin pump, and potentially oral insulin not far down the road.

The rate of diagnosis of type 1 and type 2 diabetes has surged among the U.S. youth population between 2001 and 2017. Data published Aug. 2021 shows a 45% increase in the number of children and youth under age 20 living with type 1 diabetes, while the number of children and youth living with type 2 diabetes climbed by 95%.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) points to studies that estimate five million people in the U.S. to have T1D by 2050, including nearly 600,000 youth.

But racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in blood-glucose outcomes among ethnic and racial minorities exist, as reported in the Type 1 Diabetes Exchange (T1DX) Research Registry and SEARCH study cohorts.

In Connecticut, Medicaid covered 1156 children and youth below age 20 for type 1 diabetes in 2021, and 928 for type 2 diabetes, per the latest data. The HUSKY Health / Medicaid program covered 408,082 children and youth below the age of 20 for 2021, year to date.

In this hour on Where We Live, we discuss trends, technologies, disparities, access, and outcomes.


Marie Snow: Public school teacher in Guilford. Mother of Olive, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes

Olive: Diagnosed at age 9 with type 1 diabetes

Dr. Jennifer Sherr: Pediatric Diabetes Specialist at Yale Medicine, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Endocrinology) at the Yale School of Medicine

Jon Muskrat: Executive Director, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Connecticut and Western Massachusetts Chapter)

Mark Abraham: Executive Director, DataHaven

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Sujata Srinivasan is Connecticut Public Radio’s senior health reporter. Prior to that, she was a senior producer for Where We Live, a newsroom editor, and from 2010-2014, a business reporter for the station.
Lucy leads Connecticut Public's strategies to deeply connect and build collaborations with community-focused organizations across the state.