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DiaUnion statement on the occasion of World Diabetes Day:

Today is World Diabetes Day, and we in DiaUnion plead you for a moment to direct your attention to the burden of type 1 diabetes (T1D) to the individuals and to society:

T1D is an incurable autoimmune disease that strikes randomly and independently of personal lifestyle, most often in childhood and adolescence. It is not yet fully understood why a person gets T1D.

Sweden and Denmark have among the highest rates of T1D in the world. 50,000 Swedes and 28,000 Danes are living with the disease [1]. Globally, about 8.4 million people are hit by T1D, a number expected to double by 2040 [2].

T1D requires lifelong, complicated treatment with insulin and places a heavy burden on the patient 24/7. Therefore, not even a third of Swedish and Danish patients with T1D reach the treatment target of 52-53 mmol/mol [3][4], which results in debilitating complications and over mortality.

The annual cost of the disease for the Swedish and Danish society, including direct medical costs and productivity loss, is EUR 640 million [5].

In order to prevent and cure T1D, it is crucial to identify people at risk for developing the disease at an early stage. This is done by autoantibody- and genetic screening. However a global lack of screening programs constitutes a major bottleneck for early detection and the development of new therapies.

DiaUnion’s goal is to create a pathway for preventing and curing T1D by establishing an infrastructure for early detection of the disease.


  1. Diabetes associations in Sweden and Denmark
  2. Type 1 Diabetes Index
  3. Dansk Diabetes Database. National årsrapport 2018/2019.
  4. Nationella Diabetesregistret Årsrapport 2021.
  5. JDRF, T1D Fund, Health Advances. White Paper. Modeling the Total Economic Value of Novel Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Therapeutic Concepts. 2020.