Type 1 Diabetes Screening Initiative Returns to HSN

SUDBURY, ON –  If one member of a family has Type 1 diabetes, immediate family members and other relatives have a 10 to 15 per cent greater risk of developing it too.

For this reason, Health Sciences North/Horizon Santé-Nord (HSN) is again partnering with Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Research Team from The Hospital For Sick Children (SickKids) to provide a free screening clinic for family members of patients with Type 1 diabetes.

“My dad has type 1 diabetes. Every year I go for the lab test at the hospital to see if I may get it too.  So far so good!” says Yanick, a teenager from Greater Sudbury.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body produces very little if any insulin. It usually develops in childhood and adolescence, but can also develop in adulthood.

“Our goal is to identify the disease at its earliest stage, delay progression, and ultimately prevent it,” explains Dr. Diane Wherrett, Centre Director of Type 1 diabetes TrialNet and Staff Physician in the Division of Endocrinology at SickKids. “We offer screening and clinical trials for every stage of Type 1 diabetes and close monitoring for disease progression.” 

TrialNet offers a blood test that looks for markers called autoantibodies that can identify increased risk for Type 1 diabetes up to 10 years before symptoms occur. For relatives of people with Type 1 diabetes, about 5 out of 100 people have these markers.

“Type 1 Diabetes is a significant health burden for the people living with this chronic illness.  It affects every aspect of their lives,” says Teresa Taillefer, Registered Dietitian and Program Coordinator of HSN’s Diabetes Care Service. “This research helps identify risk, and offers treatments to delay the onset of diabetes.”

The TrialNet screening clinic is specifically for first and second degree family members and relatives of a patient with Type 1 diabetes. TrialNet screening is available to:

  • Parents, children, siblings between the ages of 1-45
  • half-siblings, cousins, aunts/uncles, nieces/nephews, grandchildren between the ages of 1-20

Relatives testing positive for these markers will be monitored for the onset of symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, and may be able to enroll in a research study testing ways to delay or prevent the onset of the disease.

The screening is being held at HSN’s Diabetes Care Service, Level 2, Sudbury Outpatient Centre, Tuesday, June 14th, 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. If you are interested in attending the screening, call 1-866-699-1899 to book an appointment, or email trialnet.diabetes@sickkids.ca.