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From Warren, Michigan, USA:

I recently read on the Internet that immunizations may have something to do with contracting diabetes. Could you please comment on this?


One group in the U.S. has claimed that the present timing of routine child immunisation is an environmental trigger for autoimmune diabetes in the genetically susceptible. A number of other studies have refuted this point of view and the Center for Disease Control has declined to alter existing immunisation recommendations in the U.S.


Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:

Most diabetologists and endocrinologists do not believe that immunizations cause diabetes or are associated with pancreas damage. However, there is some interesting research that suggests a reason for the rising incidence of diabetes around the world is that we are all "too clean." In medical terms, that means that we do not have the same degree of infections as in the past and somehow this confuses our body's immune system. If one is susceptible to diabetes and has not "practiced" how to respond to a variety of infectious insults, this may be associated with more susceptibility to diabetes. These are all association studies and not cause-and-effect studies, however.

But it is an interesting theory. It's still far safer to protect oneself and one's children against the scourges of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, meningitis and chicken pox rather than worry about a small increased association with diabetes susceptibility - all in all.


Additional comments from Dr. Matthew Brown:

The Center for Disease Control has published a very nice statement that can be found at the JDF website, entitled Concerns about Diabetes and Vaccines Questions and Answers. Essentially, there is no convincing evidence that diabetes is caused by any immunization. I would encourage every parent to fully vaccinate their children.


Original posting 28 Sep 2000
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:14
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