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Question:

From Marlboro, Massachusetts, USA:

My 4 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 one year ago. My neighbor's 8 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 one year ago -- within a month of the time my son was diagnosed. I remember my son's pediatrician saying to me that he has seen an increase in diabetes among his patients. Only recently did I learn that my son and my neighbor's son see the same pediatrician.

I would like to get this information to someone who researches the cause or triggers of Type 1 diabetes because I feel there may be a commonality in these two children's backgrounds that may yield a benefit in research.

Can you please respond to me with some names and addresses of people or research teams I could write.

Answer:

Stories like yours are not uncommon and tend to be reminiscent of what used to be said about the incidence of leukemia in children living under power lines. In fact, autoimmune diabetes is not all that rare, and with an incidence in Caucasian children in the U.S. of around 18 per 100,000 per year up to age 20

It is usual to ascribe these occurrences to random statistical chance or perhaps in a very isolated community to the localisation of a specific gene pool. To investigate this problem, moreover, requires a substantial epidemiological survey as I'm sure your pediatrician would confirm and the resources for this are manifestly limited. There is however one on-going national study called DAISY (Diabetes and Auto Immune Syndromes in Youth) which is attempting to define the environmental factors that trigger the autoimmune process in those that are genetically susceptible.

DOB

Original posting 11 Jan 1999
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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