Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Pinconning, Michigan, USA:

I know there is a startling number of type 1 diabetes in toddler aged children in the past three to four years, and, if I remember correctly, that is about when this new chickenpox vaccination was made available and mandatory for children to receive before they entered a daycare or school environment. Both of my children (now aged three and a half and four and a half) were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 18 months and had received the new chickenpox vaccination at 15 months of age. I find it hard to believe it's a coincidence since neither my husband nor I have it, and our pediatrician told us that typically a strange/new virus will "kickstart" the islet cell antibodies to destroy the islet cells. Has anyone raised the question, or made a correlation between the chickenpox vaccination and the onset of type 1 diabetes?


There has indeed been a small but significant rise in the incidence of autoimmune diabetes over the last twenty years or so both in Western Europe as well as in the U.S. and Canada. More striking has been the increase in type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents, with the implication that has for a lifestyle with little exercise and an appetite for high calorie foods.

The possibility of a link between immunisations and the onset of type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes was first proposed some years ago with an emphasis on the timing of the immunisations. The research technique was questionable however, and understandably, it was soon refuted in a number of studies including one from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. (See DeStefano F, Mullooly JP, Okoro CA, Chen RT, Marcy SM, Ward JI, Vadheim CM, Black SB, Shinefield HR, Davis RL, Bohlke K; Vaccine Safety Datalink Team. Childhood vaccinations, vaccination timing, and risk of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Pediatrics 2001 Dec;108(6):E112.) Another large and still ongoing study of the environmental factors that may trigger diabetes in the susceptible, called DAISY, has so far not found any link between varicella (chickenpox) vaccination or indeed any other immunisation procedure and diabetes.

It is the exception for there to be a history of type 1A diabetes in the parents of affected children.


Original posting 11 May 2003
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


  Home Return to Top

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:46
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2015. Comments and Feedback.