Viral link to Type 1 diabetes bolstered
medwireNews: A research letter in JAMA supports a link between viral infections in infancy and the development of Type 1 diabetes.
The study of 295,420 children found the rate of respiratory infections between age 0 and 2.9 months or between 3.0 and 5.9 months to be significantly higher among the 278 who developed Type 1 diabetes before age 8 years than among those who did not, at 38.6% versus 34.2%. This equated to a 17% increased risk, which was further increased if children had infections during both time periods.
Anette- Gabriele Ziegler (Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany) and co-researchers say it is not clear if their findings reflect increased viral exposure or susceptibility among children who later develop diabetes. But they stress that, in common with other studies, the results suggest “that the first half-year of life is crucial for the development of the immune system and autoimmunity.”
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