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Friday, March 16, 2007

Puzzling increase in incidence of Type 1 Diabetes in children under five years old.

Diabetes surge for children under five


"Thousands of pre-school age children are being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as new figures show a dramatic rise over the past 20 years.

Scientists are considering the theory that hygienic Western lifestyles, with infants raised in households that are "too clean", could be a factor in the increase.

The study by Bristol University has found a five fold rise in cases in children under five between 1985 and 2004.

Prof Polly Bingley, who led the study, yesterday told the Annual Professional Conference, run by the charity Diabetes UK, that the peak age for Type 1 diabetes was falling.

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease in which the body fails to produce insulin or makes only a little.

For reasons that are not well understood, the immune system attacks the beta cells in the pancreas responsible for making insulin, which is a hormone essential for breaking down sugars in the blood."

Unlike Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 diabetes is not associated with obesity.