Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Common infections 'may trigger diabetes'

Environmental factors such as common infections could play a key role in triggering diabetes in children and young adults, scientists suggest. A research team, made up of scientists from Newcastle and Leeds Universities and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, analysed a register of over 4,000 people aged 0-29 years old diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes over a 25-year period. They found ‘clusters’ of cases at different geographical locations and time intervals for 10-19 year olds. There were six to seven per cent more cases of Type 1 diabetes found in 10-19 year olds in the clusters than would have been expected by chance. Females with the condition were more likely to occur in clusters with seven to 14 per cent more cases than expected found in young girls and women aged 10-19 years.This pattern, which experts call ‘space-time clustering’, is typical of conditions triggered by infections. The results, published in the academic journal Diabetologia, may help towards understanding more about the causes of Type 1 diabetes. Lead study author, Dr Richard McNally, of Newcastle University’s School of Clinical Medical Sciences (Child Health) said: “This research brings us closer to understanding more about Type 1 diabetes. However, it’s just one piece in the jigsaw and much more research is needed before we can identify which infections may be to blame and thus inform advice on preventative measures. “The condition is likely to be caused by an interplay of factors, of which infections are just one element.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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