More and more young children are being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, according to a recent Bristol University study. In the last twenty years, the number of under-fives suffering from type 1 has increased by five times, leaving one in every 1,000 child with the condition in 2004.
The study was localised to Oxford, but other surveys have revealed a nationwide trend along similar levels. According to the team, genes and environmental factors are largely to blamen, including diets laden with fats and sugars.
The study was based around a population of over two and a half million people in the Oxford area. The lead researcher, Polly Bingley, reportedly commented that the increasing incidence of type 1 was Europe-wide. She said: “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.”
The findings were presented at the annual conference held by Diabetes UK, where actions on how to stem the tide were discussed.