Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when insulin-producing beta cells within the pancreas are gradually destroyed and eventually fail to produce insulin. Insulin is vital for life.
Type 1 accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all diagnosed diabetes, and is increasing globally by about 3% each year. It is associated with a significantly increased risk of further serious health complications.
While it is most often diagnosed in children and teens, it is becoming increasingly common for adults to be diagnosed later in life.
Type 1 diabetes diagnosed in adulthood may be a form of slowly-progressing diabetes called latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), or type 1.5 diabetes.