Celebrating Discovery, Innovation and Progress

The American Diabetes Association® is celebrating 75 years of continuous progress working to improve the lives of people with diabetes through research, advocacy and education.

75th Year



Message: Research funded and supported by the American Diabetes Association has led to advancements in treatment and outcomes that allow people with diabetes to live longer, healthier and more comfortable lives.


Background Information:

  • In 1952, the Association funded its first direct research grants. Since 1952, the Association has invested more than $675 million, supporting more than 4,000 research projects that have contributed immeasurably to enhancements in diabetes treatment and outcomes.
  • In the past 20 years, there have been substantial reductions in major diabetes-related complications: heart attack and deaths from cardiovascular complications (each decreased more than 60%); strokes and lower extremity amputations (each decreased about 50%); end stage kidney failure (decreased about 30%).
  • Since 1995, availability of oral medications to treat type 2 diabetes expanded from a single class of drugs to eight classes, offering more potential therapeutics for use as the disease progresses, when it often becomes more difficult to manage.
  • Recent decades have seen the development of improved insulin medications, including fast-acting, long-acting and combination insulin therapies. In addition new classes of drugs have been developed, including GLP-1 receptor agonists, DPP-4 inhibitors and SGLT-2 inhibitors, all of which control glucose with lower risk for hypoglycemia and without weight gain.
  • Since 1986 when type 2 diabetes disparities were first reported, translation of clinical advances in diabetes care to community education and advocacy, including addressing specific needs of disparately impacted populations, has begun to be realized. For example, evaluation of particular programs to improve health outcomes in older minorities with diabetes has led the way to implementation of new community programs, and current studies are focused on topics such as understanding differences in psychological stress among minority youth and how stress impacts risk for developing type 2 diabetes.


Landmark clinical trials co-supported by the American Diabetes Association: 

  • The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) showed that keeping blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible slows the onset and progression of eye, kidney, and nerve diseases caused by diabetes.
  • The Diabetes Prevention Trial – Type 1 (DPT-1) showed that type 1 diabetes could not be prevented or delayed through insulin therapy and provided important information to set up TrialNet.
  • The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) showed that weight loss and physical activity significantly reduced the development of type 2 diabetes in people with pre-diabetes. The oral medication metformin also reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes in these individuals, but to a lesser extent than lifestyle change.
  • The Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) Study led to changes in the clinical recommendations to diagnose gestational diabetes in order to improve glycemic levels and related outcomes for mothers and babies.
  • TrialNet continues to enroll people with early-onset type 1 diabetes and relatives of people with type 1 diabetes at risk for developing it. Several studies are being conducted at 18 clinical centers across the U.S. and internationally to determine new ways to identify risks and to test possible ways to prevent development of type 1 diabetes in those at-risk.

 For more information about the celebration, click here!


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