Joslin Medalist Study / Update, 2010

I participated in the Joslin Medalist Study on Dec 1, 2009. The study involves an attempt to determine why a significant number of Type 1 diabetics have lived 50 years or more and have no serious complications. If the factors can be found that account for the good health of these long term Type 1 diabetics, then a treatment may be devised so that young and more recently diagnosed Type 1 diabetics can live long lives without complications. More than 550 diabetics have been examined thus far.

The most recent update (2010) of this study is contained in the link below.

What does this mean?


The results showed that as a group, Medalists have controlled their blood glucose levels very well for many years.  In addition, hemoglobin A1c, a measure of chronic glucose control, does not seem to correlate with the various complications described above.  These are very exciting findings which have been published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2007.


All of the test subjects have good control but A1c levels don't have anything to do with complications?

More for me to worry about for my beautiful little girl.  I would love to know what else you have in common. Is it exercise or something else like that?




Terry, in almost ALL cases, the A1c does correlate with A1c's. it has been shown that good A1c's and stable control contribute very much to avoiding compliations. the Joslin Medalists is an exceptional group of type 1 diabetics who do not necessarily follow the usual path. I must keep good Aic's and have good control to avoid cmplications. I had mild complications showing up several years ago. When I started pumping and my control greatly improved, my complications disappeared.

There are many medalists, however, who have not taken good care of themselves, and they do not have good A1c's. Despite this fact, they still do not have complications.  They are the exceptions to the rule. The study is trying to find out what makes them different. there are not many type 1's who can have high A1c's and still avoid complications. i know I can't.

If your daughter has good control in her future years she should have good A1c's and she should be able to avoid complications too! I know how difficult it is to have stable control as a child, but when she is an adult things stabilize and good control is much easier. Good luck to both of you!


A few years back, I had heard that Joslin thought there may be genetic components to why some people have complications and some don't, despite similar control...

OK, I just clicked on the link, and the article said that too. (:


This quote made me sad, yet happy:

"individuals with extreme duration of diabetes"

After 50 years of having T1, I'll only be 54. So, that's young, and it's depressing that that's an "extreme duration." But, it's also encouraging that the article talked about people living with it for 80 years! Thanks you Banting, Eliot Joslin, et al. for making it possible I could live that long with D!

Sarah, the record holder has lived 86 years with his type 1. When I go to the Medalist meet-up in May, 2011, I hope to meet him. He attended the last meet-up in May, 2009, but I had not applied to be a Medalist at that time.