People who go on to higher education after leaving school could be at more risk of developing a rare form of diabetes associated with autoimmunity, according to a new study.
The research, published in Diabetes Care and which involved over 56,000 adults in Norway, found that those who went to college or university were almost twice as likely as adults who did not to develop autoimmune diabetes, an adult form of the disease similar to the type 1 diabetes that typically manifests in childhood.
Lisa Olsson of the Karolinska Institutet in Swede, who led the research, admitted that it is not higher education in itself that increases the risk of autoimmune diabetes, but that those who go to university must have some other factor in their lives that predisposes them to this form of diabetes. She said “Subjects with high education may have a different lifestyle (or) be exposed to other environmental factors than people with low education, which may increase their risk.”
Olsson thinks that one possible explanation is because people who go to university may have fewer infections in childhood, which is thought by some experts may predispose children to type 1 diabetes.
The chances of developing autoimmune diabetes are comparatively low, with just 122 of those assesses by the study being diagnosed with the condition, despite more than 1,500 of the patients developing the more common type 2 diabetes . The team eliminate the influence of traditional risk factors, including obesity, smoking, family history of diabetes and lack of exercise, from the results.

Get our free newsletters

Stay up to date with the latest news, research and breakthroughs.

You May Also Like

Top diabetes professor drafts risk assessment document for frontline COVID-19 staff

The health and wellbeing of frontline NHS staff has been prioritised among…

Conversation about doctors’ appointments occurring virtually rumbles on

More than half of GP appointments are still being delivered remotely in…

Twice daily dairy intakes could reduce type 2 diabetes risk

Eating cheese, yoghurt or eggs twice a day could help lower the…