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Helmsley Charitable Trust Announces Initial Publication of Results from the Type 1 Diabetes Exercise Initiative (T1-DEXI)

T1-DEXI has released a public dataset and request for proposals to promote research and drive solutions to help people with type 1 diabetes safely incorporate exercise into their daily lives. The study found that exercise may help improve the management of type 1 diabetes.

New York, February 8, 2023: New findings published in Diabetes Care shed light on the effects of different types of at-home exercise on the management of type 1 diabetes (T1D). They are the first to be published from the Type 1 Diabetes Exercise Initiative, or T1-DEXI — the largest observational exercise study in adults with T1D, and funded by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The new publication includes an analysis of T1-DEXI data.

T1D impairs the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. People with T1D need to monitor their blood sugar levels and manage it with insulin, diet, and lifestyle interventions. Exercise affects blood sugar levels, but the relationship is not well understood, and it can increase the risk of dangerously high or low blood sugar. The effect of exercise on blood sugar can vary depending on type of exercise, previously administered insulin, meal timing and composition, and sleep. All of this can make incorporating exercise into daily life challenging for people with T1D. T1-DEXI seeks to improve our understanding of the effect of exercise on blood sugar, and this new publication “Examining the Acute Glycemic Effects of Different Types of Structured Exercise Sessions in Type 1 Diabetes in a Real-World Setting: The Type 1 Diabetes and Exercise Initiative (T1DEXI)” brings us one step closer.

In the study, participants wore continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), which indirectly measure blood sugar  (glucose). The authors found that approximately 30 minutes of at-home aerobic exercise on average caused a greater drop in glucose levels than either 30 minutes of resistance training or high intensity interval training.  All forms of exercise, however, increased the “time in range” — the percentage of time that a person’s glucose levels are in a healthy, target range — over the following 24 hours compared to days without exercise. These results indicate that all forms of exercise may have long-term benefits for people with T1D.

The T1-DEXI study was conducted as a collaboration among the Jaeb Center for Health Research (JCHR) and a diverse team of researchers with expertise in clinical diabetes management, exercise physiology, and diabetes-related technologies. The publicly available data set from T1-DEXI includes information about types of physical activity, heart rate, insulin use, CGMs, diet, and genetics, from over 500 adult participants. T1-DEXI was led by co-chairs Michael Riddell, Ph.D., of York University and Michael R. Rickels, M.D., M.S. of the University of Pennsylvania.

Recognizing that open access to data can accelerate medical research, the Helmsley Charitable Trust partnered with Vivli to make the T1-DEXI data publicly available. Vivli is an independent, non-profit entity with a mission  to promote, coordinate, and facilitate clinical research data sharing through a global data platform.

An additional large-scale observational exercise study in children with T1D (T1-DEXIP), led by co-chairs Dr. Riddell and Jennifer Sherr, M.D., Ph.D. of the Yale University School of Medicine, was also recently completed. Data are expected to be available through Vivli in the first quarter of 2023. Initial results from the T1-DEXIP will be presented on February 24, 2023, at The International Conference on Advanced Technologies and Treatments of Diabetes (ATTD) in Berlin.

Helmsley previously announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) to fund research building on the T1-DEXI and T1-DEXIP data to advance our understanding of exercise with T1D and to promote the development of novel, real-world solutions to help people with T1D exercise safely.

“People with T1D face many burdens throughout their daily lives, including complex decisions around exercise, diet, monitoring glucose levels, and administering insulin,” said Deniz Dalton, a Program Officer in Helmsley’s T1D Program. “This first publication analyzing the T1-DEXI data is an exciting step forward, and we look forward to further research to expand what we know about exercise and T1D. Helmsley’s RFP aims to encourage much needed real-world solutions to alleviate the challenges faced by people with T1D around exercise.”

Concept notes for the RFP are due by April 30, 2023, and full proposals will be invited for submission later in 2023. Researchers are encouraged to access the data through Vivli with sufficient time to review in advance of the concept note submission deadline. Read more about the RFP here.

About The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $3.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program is the largest private foundation funder in the world with a focus on T1D, with more than $1 billion to date committed to transform the trajectory of the disease and to accelerate access to 21st century care, everywhere. For more information on Helmsley and its programs, visit helmsleytrust.org.



Alison Carley, 212.953.2887, acarley@helmsleytrust.org