Environmental factors very early in life may be important for later development of insulin dependent diabetes. Because several of these factors, such as infections, vary with season, we predicted a difference in birth pattern compared with the general population among children who develop diabetes. In a population based study we analysed all 1248 children from seven paediatric departments in the south east part of Sweden to evaluate whether there is such a relation. There was a significant difference in birth pattern in patients with diabetes compared with the general population. Children who developed diabetes at the age of 10–15 years accounted for most of this difference. Boys had a more pronounced difference in birth pattern than girls. Children diagnosed with diabetes during years of high incidence, as well as children with an infection before diagnosis of diabetes, showed a significantly different birth pattern compared with the background population. These results indicate that there is a difference in birth pattern in children who develop diabetes compared with the background population. This supports the theory that environmental factors early in life play a role in the development of diabetes many years later.
- insulin dependent diabetes
- birth pattern
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