A new research armed with facts and figures has shown the dangerous increase in Type 1 diabetes among children, especially in the last 20 years. The number of children below five years of age, battling the scourge of Type 1 diabetes has risen five fold between 1985 and 2004.
Type 1 diabetes or insulin dependant diabetes is an ailment that develops in childhood as opposed to Type 2 diabetes, which develops much later. According to Charity Diabetes UK, nearly 20,000 school going children suffer Type 1 diabetes. Since the figures are way too high, the reasons cannot be attributed to mere genetic predisposition alone, surely environment must be playing a bigger role, researchers surmised.
Professor Polly Bingley, from the University, said: "The incidence of childhood Type 1 diabetes has been shown to be increasing all over Europe, particularly in the very young. The increase is too steep to be put down to genetic factors, so it must be due to changes in our environment. This could either mean that we are being exposed to something new, or that we now have reduced exposure to something that was previously controlling our immune responses. We now need to work to identify what these changes might be."
Going by the trend, diagnostic evaluation for diabetes may need to begin in childhood itself.