Virus infection ups diabetes risk in kids

Children who have been infected with enterovirus are around 50 percent more likely to develop Type 1 diabetes, says a study.

Taipei: Children who have been infected with enterovirus are around 50 percent more likely to develop Type 1 diabetes, says a study.

Type 1 diabetes is considered to be caused by complex interaction between genetic susceptibility, the immune system and environmental factors.

"Though the cue for genetic predisposition has been elucidated, evidence also points to involvement of enterovirus (EV) infection, including viruses such as polio virus, Coxsackievirus A, Coxsackievirus B and echovirus," said Tsai Chung-Li from the China Medical University in Taiwan.

To investigate the link between EV infection and subsequent Type 1 diabetes, the researchers used a nationwide population-based data from Taiwan's National Health Insurance System.

They looked at Type 1 diabetes incidence in children aged up to 18 years with or without diagnosis of EV infection during 2000-2008.

Overall incidence of Type 1 diabetes was higher in the EV infected children than in the non-EV infected group - a 48 percent increased incidence rate in the EV infected versus the non-EV infected children.

Hazard ratios of Type 1 diabetes increased with age at diagnosis of EV infection, with a more than doubling of the risk of Type 1 diabetes (2.18 times increased risk) for entry at children aged over 10 years.

The study appeared in the journal Diabetologia.

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