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Type 1 Diabetes is predicted to rise in young children

Posted on Jun 03, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera

A new study published in the Lancet Journal is predicting that European children under five with type 1 diabetes could double over the next decade.

The study is based on trends found in Europe. But experts believe the US can expect similar results. Currently 13,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each year.

Here is what the study found:

  • type 2 diabetes has increased 3.9% per year
  • children under 5 experienced the greatest increase (5.4%)
  • if this trend continues, rates among children under 5 will double by 2010
What is Diabetes Type 1? It occurs when the immune system goes haywire and starts destroying insulin-producing cells in the pancreas needed to control blood sugar

What is causing the increase in Type 1 Diabetes in young children? No one really knows for sure. But experts believe the increase is being caused by the environment because of the rapid growth. Some areas they are looking into include:

  • early life diet
  • viral infections - U.S. government health experts have launched The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young study to better understand what might be causing the increase including possible infections in the womb and childhood infections.
Healthy eating that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables and whole grains is important in helping children form sound immune systems and overall growth. We are just learning about how critical early nutrition is for long term health.




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