Celebrity Watch: Casey Johnson's battle with T1

There's been a lot of buzz in the news about Casey Johnson's (from the family that started the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company) death. Everyone assumes drugs were involved. Or her enviable celebrity lifestyle. What many don't realize is her long long battle with T1 diabetes may have been a contributing, if not a primary factor in her early death.

It's very sad. Her family and father Robert "Woody" Johnson have been amazing supporters of diabetes research and we all owe them a debt of gratitude.

Most times the press love to just focus on the glitzy sensationalist stuff and then skips over the boring but very serious toll that Casey's diabetes had on her (too short) life.

You can read breaking news about it on the People magazine site here.

Juvenation poll: Do you think diabetes was the cause of her death?

Hi Red,The today show talked about this-this morning.They did mention her pump...and Dr.Drew said something like people who have d have a higher risk for depression.It is a sad thing for someone to die so young.I think her work with d was mentioned....I keep thinking about the depression.How common is that if you have d ?.............I want to put a good word in for the TODAY SHOW--a few months back they talked about d.They took the time to tell the difference between type1 and type2.Maybe others will follow....

"The speculation is she came home after a night of partying and passed out without taking her meds or her insulin and that was the end of her."

This sounds fishy to me.  I wouldn't think that if you forgot your night dose of Lantus that it would be enough to cause you to go into DKA and die during the night.  Even if she was really high, the alcohol would have brought here down some after a while.  Unless of course "night of partying" included other intoxicants and eating/drinking a lot of sugary stuff that may have played in somehow.   Would maybe make more sense if she was drinking and DID take her night time dose and didn't have a snack and her BS crashed ovenight due to the alcohol.   Someone else mentioned that she was on pump.  If so, why would she need to take anything at night?  Don't know all of the facts of course.  But based on the statement above, I'm not buying it.

I think this is a reminder that everyone should take good care of themselves, T1 or not.  Our bodies are not ment to be put through unnecessary stress.  I have heard of numerous people who live exceptional lives with T1.  I tell my daughter, T1, many times that everyone should eat well, rest, exercise and above all live a balanced life.  That's not to say that we all slip up on occasion, but lilving a reckless life is not good for anyone, T1 or not.


That said, I will be watching to see how this young woman was taken too soon.  It breaks my heart.


My favorite quote from the people article is that she "still suffered from diabetes." Yup. there's no cure. Isn't that well known?

Diabetes does not cause death.

Poorly controlled diabetes causes death.

Agreed Sarah, that pissed me off. It sounds like the article is quite off, assuming she was actually using a pump. I would think if it was diabetes it would have been 'dead in bed' syndrome rather than DKA. Sad story though, I would have thought with so much wealth she would have access to the right people to set her straight, but I guess not. 

I agree!  Most likely she would have managed to kill herself even w/o T1D. It is frustrating to hear people blame diabetes when we know differently.

"The speculation is she came home after a night of partying and passed out without taking her meds or her insulin and that was the end of her."

Agree with the above posts. I guess it depends on what else was in her system. A lot of drugs cause dehydration and some more than others. Those combined with a high blood sugar could be asking for your body to shut down. But as it was pointed out, plenty of people manage to die from drugs abuse without T1 diabetes.

I vote I don't know because I'm not an ME and I'm not performing the autopsy.

The speculation is that she either had an extreme high and went into a coma or an extreme low and went into a coma.  Its not that Diabetes caused death its that the blood sugars for some reason either went high or low and she didnt have the capacity to correct it.  The cause of death is not released yet so we wont know for sure until then.

Depression and Diabetes often go hand in hand though.  Someone with diabetes is about 2-4 times more likely to suffer from depression than someone who is not diabetic.

Very well put. Thank You


A lack of self-care was her cause of death. It's easy to get overly technical and say the complications of diabetes killed her, not the disease itself, but either way, let this serve as a reminder to take care of yourself and make smart decisions, whether you are diabetic or not!

Apparently, no one has talked about this since January, but just so you know, she actually DID die from untreated diabetes -- ketoacidosis, to be exact.  It sounds as though she just wasn't giving herself shots at all.  Maybe she WAS depressed, and trying to kill herself.  Maybe she was one of those diabulimics.  

I've followed this extensively because, at first, I assumed she had died from an untreated LOW blood sugar reaction, which scared the heck out of me, cuz I live alone and suffer from serious lows.  But no.  She died from complete lack of insulin.  Either way, it's sad.  Her parents fund a lot of diabetes research, as well as worthy things like NPR.