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Roche Diagnostics: Children with Diabetes United Through Art in Accu-Chek Global Competition; Global Art Contest Provides Channel for Children and Teens to Express Their Feelings.

LONDON & SINGAPORE -- In the build up to the 13th Annual World Diabetes Day, the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) and Roche Diagnostics today announce the winners of the 2004 Accu-Chek Art Contest for Children and Teens with Diabetes. This is the second year of the popular Art Contest, which since its inception has received an astonishing 5000 entries from over 25 countries worldwide.

Each year, World Diabetes Day is centered round a theme highlighting a prominent issue of particular concern for people with diabetes - this year obesity is the focus. With the rate of worldwide obesity increasing at a phenomenal pace, the numbers of people with diabetes are also multiplying significantly. There are currently more than 194 million people with diabetes worldwide - one in every 33 people. If nothing is done to slow the epidemic, the number will exceed 333 million by 2025(1) - or one in every 19 people.

Type 1, insulin dependent diabetes is also one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood, with an incidence of approximately 1.7 affected per 1000 below 20 years of age. Only asthma exceeds its prevalence in the school-aged population.(2) With the increase in sedentary lifestyles, and consumption of high fat foods, the increase in obesity will undoubtedly contributed to an increasing prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in children and in some countries it already has.

The Accu-Chek Art Contest began in 2002 to encourage children and teenagers with diabetes to express their feelings about their condition. Forms of non-verbal communication are often an important way for parents and healthcare professionals to understand the emotional impact diabetes is having on the child. The second Accu-Chek Art Contest followed the theme 'The Spirit of Challenge', with entries illustrating how the children have learned to cope with their condition and lead normal, healthy lives.

"The entries into the 2004 Accu-Chek Art Contest have been very inspiring and ISPAD, the only global advocate for children with diabetes, has been very pleased to be involved in the judging of this worthwhile initiative. Encouraging children and adolescents with diabetes to express their feelings in a non-verbal manner is very important as this improves our understanding of the child's inner world and feelings, which may be important in treating the child appropriately both physically and psychologically," said Peter Swift, Secretary General of ISPAD.

The winning entries were selected at the Annual Scientific Meeting of ISPAD in Singapore on 1st November. The judging panel consisted of the ISPAD Steering Committee as well as Warren Lee, Head of Endocrinology and Consultant Paediatrician in the Service Department of Paediatrics at KK Hospital, Singapore, and local organiser for the ISPAD meeting and Angelina Choy, Art and Pictures Editor for the Straits Times, Singapore.

The winning entries are Aaron, age 9 from Singapore; Natalia, age 13 from Chile; and Jeremie, age 16 from France. Each winner will receive a EUR 5,000 holiday to a destination of their choice. The two runners up in each age group will receive a EUR 1,000 learning grant to begin a new hobby or skill such as singing or language lessons or learning a musical instrument. The runners up selected consist of Sheirneice, age 9 from Trinidad and Tobago; Kayna, age 8 from New Zealand; Marianela, age 11 from Argentina; Igor, age 13 from Russia; Sofia, age 14 from Argentina; Charline, age 16 from Belgium.

The 2005 Art Contest, launching on World Diabetes Day, will focus on the theme 'The Story of My Diabetes'. This theme was chosen to encourage children and teens to describe in three pictures how they first felt when they were diagnosed to feelings about their diabetes today.

"Roche hopes that projects such as the Accu-Chek Art Contest will pave the way for dialogue between all groups of society concerned with diabetes care, and encourage children with diabetes to live fulfilled, spontaneous lives," said Staffan Ek, Head of Diabetes Care, Roche Diagnostics. "Roche Diagnostics is committed to helping everyone with diabetes, including their health care providers, to further understand the condition and how it affects the individual. Roche is confident that the Accu-Chek Art Contest is a positive step in the right direction."

For details on how to enter the 2005 art contest please see - www.accu-chek.co.uk

About Roche and Roche Diagnostics

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading research-intensive healthcare groups. Its core businesses are pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As a supplier of innovative products and services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's health and quality of life. Roche is one of the leading companies in the global diagnostics market, the leading supplier of medicines for cancer and transplantation and a market leader in virology. In 2003, the Pharmaceuticals Division generated 19.8 billion Swiss francs in prescription drug sales, while the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 7.4 billion Swiss francs. Roche employs roughly 65,000 people in 150 countries and has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai. Roche's Diagnostics Division, the world leader in diagnostics with a uniquely broad product portfolio, supplies a wide array of innovative testing products and services to researchers, physicians, patients, hospitals and laboratories world-wide.

Accu-Chek is a pioneer in the development of blood glucose monitoring systems and is a global leader in providing comprehensive diabetes care. This means offering people with diabetes innovative products and services ranging from blood glucose monitoring through data management to insulin delivery. For 30 years, Accu-Chek has been committed to making life easier for people with diabetes and healthcare professionals by providing innovative products and services which make diabetes management easier, more efficient and cost effective. The Accu-Chek family encompasses blood glucose meters, infusion pumps, lancing and data management systems, such as the Accu-Chek Compact, Accu-Chek Advantage and Accu-Chek Softclix.

For further information, please visit our websites www.roche.com,

www.roche-diagnostics.com, and www.accu-chek.com.

ACCU-CHEK and SOFTCLIX are trademarks of a Member of the Roche Group

+++ Please register for Roche Diagnostic's convenient "NewsFlash" service in their online "Press Lounge" - see "www.roche-diagnostics.com" for details +++

Notes to Editor:

The Art Contest Judging Panel consisted of:

--Warren Lee, Head of Endocrinology and Consultant Paediatrician in the Service Department of Paediatrics at KK Hospital,

--Peter Swift Consultant Paediatrician (Diabetes and Endocrinology) Leicester Royal Infirmary Children's Hospital, UK

--Dr. Denis Daneman, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto, and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology in the Department of Paediatrics, and Associate Chief of the Hospital for Sick Children's Research Institute, Canada

--Professor Dr. Thomas Danne, Director of the Department of General Paediatrics and Endocrinology/Diabetology, Hannover Medical School, Germany

--Professor Knut, Professor of Pediatrics Aker University Hospital, Oslo

--Professor Kaichi Kida, Professor of Pediatrics Ehime University, Japan and Treasurer of ISPAD and President of APPES (Asia Pacific Pediatric Endocrine Society)

--Lynda Fisher, Associate Professor, Childrens Hosp, Los Angeles.

In addition to these ISPAD members is Angelina Choy, the Art and Pictures Editor from Singapores leading newspaper -"The Straits Times".

(1) IDF website - www.idf.org

(2) Diabetes Care, Volume 23, Supplement 1
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