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From Arizona, USA:

My daughter is 12 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 10. When she was 5 years old, she was hospitalized with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome caused by E-coli poisoning.

Has there ever been any research done on a link between children who have suffered from HUS and later developed diabetes? We were told the E-coli poison travels throughout the body via the bloodstream and can affect any organ of the body, therefore, I have always wondered if there was damage done to the pancreas, thereby causing the Type 1 diabetes to develop 5 years later.


Over the last twenty years there have been sporadic reports of an association between the hemolytic uremic syndrome and insulin dependant diabetes. However, in all of them, the diabetes has been a rather immediate sequel to the HUS. My guess would be that in your daughter's case the two are not linked because of the considerable time difference and the fact that she almost certainly has the autoimmune or Type 1A diabetes. It is not impossible, of course, that the HUS generated an antigen which in turn triggered the slow autoimmune process; but as far as I can find out there has been no recent research on this.

If you have access to a medical library you might like to look at two papers: Child Nephrology and Urology Vol 11, page 223 in 1991 and Vol 12, page 59 in 1992 and also one in Journal of Pediatrics Vol 100, page 541 in 1982.


Original posting 24 Mar 1999
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


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