Diabetes Evaluation in Washington (DEW-IT) Study


To determine the feasibility of establishing universal newborn type 1 diabetes susceptibility screening for Washington state

Anticipated Impact: 

Reduction in costs and crises for individuals and families living with type 1 diabetes


Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes (T1D) is one of the leading chronic childhood diseases in the US. It has significant morbidity both at onset and later. Annual medical costs associated with the disease are staggering. The current health care system lacks a practical, population-based T1D prediction strategy, which is necessary to provide early diagnosis and identify an at-risk cohort appropriate for intervention therapies. Our research project has the potential to implement such a program by identifying children in Washington State who are developing the disease and to educate them on the signs and symptoms before onset. This will minimize illness and medical cost at diagnosis. To do this, we have perfected exciting new technology using inexpensive genetic screening in cooperation with our Washington State Department of Health Newborn Screening Program followed by mail-based follow-up autoantibody testing of children at risk. We feel that this project offers an excellent chance to transit T1D preclinical prediction to the public and private health care system. Further, there exists the potential to lower health care costs for WA State businesses and for the DSHS. This proposal also will create a cohort to test new therapies to ultimately prevent T1D from coming at all, and we hope to energize T1D clinical research within the state's thriving academic research community, and potential diabetes prevention therapies among the state's large biotech sector. Overall, we hope that this strategy will eventually benefit the four million children born in the US each year, and ultimately children around the world.

See also:

Diabetes Screening and Management

Grant Update

Principal Investigator:
William Hagopian
Grantee Organization:
Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute
Grant Title:
Diabetes Evaluation in Washington (DEW-IT) Study
Grant Cohort and Year:
2007 Beneficial Applications of Technology in Health Care: Improving Health-Care Quality and Cost Effectiveness (01)
Grant Period:
01/01/2008 - 12/31/2011 (Completed)
Grant Amount:
Most new cases type 1 diabetes occur in families without a current member with type 1 diabetes, so all kids must be screened. The DEW-IT 2 study strives to produce an effective, cost-efficient method to predict type 1 diabetes in all kids. Our goal is to transition our study into the existing public health and healthcare system. We want to show that screening all kids for type 1 diabetes risk, beginning at birth through the Newborn Screening Program, is practical, improves health, and is cost-effective. Our research team has been working with the Newborn Screening Program for over 10 years on various diabetes prediction studies. Through the DEW-IT 2 study, we have screened over 13,000 babies in the state of Washington since 2008. The DEW-IT 2 study identifies 8% of infants as an increased risk cohort. This high-risk group is offered follow-up testing that must be done every year or so during early childhood to better follow their risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Blood sampling can be done during regular well-child visits to the health care provider, and most doctors across the state have been supportive of our research. As another choice to families, we offer a home sampling kit. Parents of children with positive risk tests are educated about early signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes. This was clearly shown in multiple published studies to decrease illness, hospitalization and medical costs. We are working to further improve the cost-effectiveness of the diabetes prediction program. We have received a federal grant to continue our islet antibody testing on the LSDF high-risk cohort as we continue to streamline our process. Additionally, based on the success of the LSDF funded portion of the study, we will now move into the next phase of our research in integrating our project into State of Washington Newborn Screening. We are working for regulatory approval to allow WA state to incorporate HLA screening in the Department of Health Newborn Screening Program testing, perhaps starting with a one-year pilot group. Our lab would then offer yearly islet antibody testing to this pilot group.

Impact in Washington

Location of LSDF Grantee
Locations of Collaborations/Areas of Impact
Grand Coulee
Moses Lake
Spokane Valley
Walla Walla
White Salmon

Legislative Districts:
3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 34, 36, 37, 43, 46

Health Impacts

Diabetes Screening and Management

Feb 9, 2009
Tri-City Herald