ABSTRACT: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disorder which affects millions around the world. The incidence of T1D in children is increasing worldwide at a rate that cannot be explained by genetics alone. This review explores the recent research regarding possible causes of this epidemic.
Investigation into T1D epidemiology has recently focused on several hypotheses. These theories include the role of infections, early childhood diet, vitamin D exposure, environmental pollutants, increased height velocity, obesity, and insulin resistance in the risk for T1D. Over the past year, the evidence has strengthened for early childhood infections, dietary proteins, and insulin resistance as risk factors for T1D, but not for vitamin D exposure or environmental pollutants.
Investigation into the source of the current epidemic of T1D has shed light on several possible causes, but has not provided definitive answers, yet.
Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes, and obesity 08/2011; 18(4):248-51.