Arch Dis Child 77:210-213 doi:10.1136/adc.77.3.210
  • Original article

Rising incidence of type 1 diabetes in Scottish children, 1984–93


OBJECTIVES To calculate the incidence of type 1 diabetes in Scottish children aged less than 15 years between 1984 and 1993; to examine changes in incidence; and to calculate the prevalence of diabetes at the end of this period.

DESIGN Three data sources were used to construct the Scottish Study Group for the Care of Young Diabetics register: active reporting of all new cases; reports from the Scottish Morbidity Register 1; and local registers.

SUBJECTS All children resident in Scotland diagnosed with primary insulin dependent diabetes mellitus when less than 15 years of age between 1984 and 1993.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Annual incidence and prevalence rate for Scotland; time trend in incidence over the 10 years; differences in incidence between the three different age groups; and completeness of the register.

RESULTS The average annual incidence for Scotland was 23.9/100 000 children. The prevalence rate was 1.5/1000 in 1993. A total of 2326 cases was identified from the three sources. Capture-recapture analysis suggests a case ascertainment of 98.6%. The annual incidence rates increased at a rate of 2% each year (rate ratio = 1.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01 to 1.03). The incidence was higher in boys than girls (rate ratio = 1.08, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.18), and the incidence rates increased with age: 15.3/100 000/year for age 0–4 years, 24.4/100 000/year for age 5–9 years, and 31.9/100 000/year for age 10–14 years.

CONCLUSIONS The incidence of type 1 diabetes in Scotland is increasing and the prevalence is relatively high. These findings have important implications for health service resource allocation. The Scottish Study Group for the Care of Young Diabetics’ register provides a base for monitoring and research.