Diabetes research hope

Diabetes research hope

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Ferndale resident and research student Matthew Cooper has helped research ways to prevent the onset of illnesses associated with type 1 diabetes.

A Ferndale researcher has led research into how to prevent chronic vascular complications resulting from type 1 diabetes.

Telethon Kids Institute PhD student Matthew Cooper led the study which focused on helping women who developed type 1 diabetes during childhood and those who had poor blood sugar control in their youth.

Mr Cooper’s study was supervised by Princess Margaret Hospital Children’s Diabetes Centre co-director Professor Elizabeth Davis and was published in The Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications.

Mr Cooper said despite improvements in healthcare, sufferers of T1D were still susceptible to strokes, eye diseases and kidney damage.

“By looking at the health records of more than 1300 West Australians diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in childhood we discovered that by early adulthood 32 of these patients had been hospitalised and treated for a vascular complication,” he said.

Mr Cooper said most of these people suffered with eye disease.

“We also found rates of end stage kidney disease and stroke were significantly elevated compared to the general population.”

Professor Davis said women with a low socioeconomic status and type 1 patients who had experienced severe hypoglycaemia were at a greater risk of developing the issues.

Children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes were also more than twice as likely than their peers to be affected by mental health disorders such as anxiety, eating and personality and behaviour disorders during early adulthood.

It was hoped the study would help provide doctors and caregivers with the information necessary to intervene early and bring down the risk of developing type 1 diabetes later in life.