About type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system incorrectly identifies the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas as foreign and destroys them. Insulin is the hormone that regulates the blood level of glucose. People with type 1 diabetes are dependent on insulin injections lifelong.

Long-term health complications of diabetes include heart attack and stroke, vision impairment, kidney disease and nerve damage.

Statistical information

  • Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children, but adults can also be diagnosed with it.
  • 1,500 shots of insulin – the number of insulin shots required by type 1 diabetes patients each year.
  • 140,000 Australians have type 1 diabetes – one of the highest rates of type 1 diabetes in the world.
  • $570 million annually – the estimated health care cost in Australia for treating people with type 1 diabetes in 2012. (latest figures available)

SVI and type 1 diabetes research

Researchers at SVI in Melbourne, are dedicated to finding effective ways to prevent the loss of insulin-producing cells in type 1 diabetes.

Our research explores the mechanisms of type 1 diabetes and potential new treatments.

As an Australian Islet Transplant Centre, SVI undertakes donor islet isolation at its purpose-built facility for transplantation into people with uncontrollable diabetes.

Another SVI initiative is our Living Biobank Program. Medical researchers often require human biological samples such as blood or tissue samples to help progress their work. High quality samples can be difficult to access, because of the need for live cells or specialised storage. If you are unable to participate in our BANDIT study but are interested in donating to our Biobank to help progress type 1 diabetes research, visit this page.

More type 1 diabetes information and support

Your doctor should be able to provide you with more information and support about type 1 diabetes. You can also get more information from the following organisations and websites:

JDRF Australia

Diabetes Victoria

Diabetes Australia