WASHINGTON (AP) - One possible concern about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has been her health. She was diagnosed at age 8 with Type 1 diabetes.
With Type 1 diabetes, the body attacks and destroys the pancreas cells that produce insulin, the horomone that regulates blood sugar. To survive, patients must inject themselves with insulin numerous times a day, or use a pump that infuses it.
Diabetes is a leading cause of death. That's largely because high blood sugar is damaging to blood vessels, leading to heart attacks, kidney disease and other complications. The government says the risk of death among diabetics is about twice that of similarly aged people who don't have diabetes.
But White House officials say they talked with Sotomayor about her diabetes and consulted her doctors and others. They concluded she's in good health and can serve for many years.
Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called juvenile diabetes, is much less common than Type 2 diabetes, in which the body no longer uses insulin properly.