Press Release


Presentation of Initial Results of the Fr1da Study in Bavaria

Professor Anette-Gabriele Ziegler and her team presented the initial results of the Fr1da study, in which children throughout Bavaria between the ages of two and five years are being screened to detect predictive markers of type 1 diabetes. Two families were invited to the press event whose children tested positive in the study and who could be prepared in advance for the onset of the disease.

Photo: Jan Roeder / HMGU

“In the first seven months of this year we have already tested 14,000 children – that is a unique achievement worldwide“, said Ziegler, director of the Institute of Diabetes Research at Helmholtz Zentrum München. This was made possible first and foremost due to the “excellent cooperation with the pediatricians”, whose efforts for the study have been outstanding. For the study team, it was also interesting to see just how close the first estimates were to the actual initial results. “So far, 49 children have tested positive for an early stage of type 1 diabetes – this corresponds almost exactly to the 0.3 percent we predicted,” said Ziegler.

Dr. Katharina Warncke, who at Schwabing Children’s Hospital counsels families on how to deal with early stage of type 1 diabetes, finds these results encouraging: “All of the affected children whose families received diabetes education sessions were in a very good general condition. So far, not a single child has had to start insulin therapy.” Altogether, those concerned have commented favorably about how the Fr1da study is run and about the counseling and treatment that is being offered.

This was also confirmed by a mother from Munich whose daughter was one of the first children to benefit from the early diabetes education sessions. “I had of course hoped that my daughter would be spared from developing this disease. But in view of the facts, the Fr1da study is the best thing that could have happened to us in this situation.” A family from Erlangen whose child also tested positive responded in a similar way: “We feel well advised and taken care of in this difficult situation.” This is another example why the Helmholtz scientists are very satisfied with these initial results. 

On this occasion the Bavarian Health Minister Melanie Huml, who is currently on maternity leave, issued a press statement on the Fr1da study: “By means of a simple blood test … early stage of type 1 diabetes in children can be detected sooner than before. That is an immense advantage for families.”

The complete statements and new image and video material can be found on the official Fr1da press website: