Increased Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes in Children During Pandemic Linked to Lockdown

23 Mar 2023 • A recent study by the PEDIA research group of the University of Helsinki found that altered environmental factors, specifically the societal lockdown during the pandemic period, led to an increase in the incidence of type 1 diabetes in children in Finland. The study, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, revealed a 16% increase in the first 18 months of the pandemic. However, few of the children who developed type 1 diabetes had past infections of SARS-CoV-2.

The biodiversity hypothesis suggests that microbial exposure and infections in early childhood can boost protection against autoimmune diseases. The societal lockdown significantly reduced acute infections in children, potentially increasing the risk of developing diabetes.

The Finnish Pediatric Diabetes Register, covering over 90% of Finnish patients who have developed diabetes, was used for the study. While the incidence of diabetes may have increased temporarily, the study notes that further investigation is needed to confirm the trend's continuation beyond the pandemic period.

Source: Medical Xpress |Read full story

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