I am anxious to attend the meeting of more than 100 Joslin Medalists on June 3, 4. These meet-ups are held every two years in Boston at the Joslin Diabetes Center. There are several medalists attending who have been type 1 for 75 years, or more. William Rounds attended in 2009, and he has now been type 1 for 87 years. They make me feel like a newbie, with only 65 years of diabetes.
Here is a link about some of the medalists and findings from the Joslin Medalist Study of 650 medalists.
What makes a survivor
There are common themes among the 650 people in the Joslin Diabetes Center’s “medalists’’ study of patients who have lived with type 1 diabetes for a half-century or longer. According to Dr. George L. King, Joslin’s research director, these survivors are typically:
- of Northern European ancestry, which tends to correlate with high socioeconomic status, high levels of education, and good health care and nutrition.
- physically active.
- children of parents who took control of their diabetes when they were very young, and they continue to do a good job of keeping their blood sugars low and stable.
- children of parents who were long-lived — on average, 76-77 years.
- matter-of-fact about their diabetes: They see it as an annoyance, but not a curse.
- willing to participate in medical research about type 1 diabetes.
- have a pancreas that has continued to make insulin-producing beta cells.