July 30, 2000
Diagnosis and Symptoms
Question from Portland, Oregon, USA:
My two-and-one-half year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about two months ago. Since then, I have heard of similarly young aged children being diagnosed. Is there a rising incidence in younger children (less than 5 years of age), and if so, is there any known reason for the increase?
In the last twenty years or so, there seems to have been a steady rise in the incidence of all kinds of diabetes in all age groups and in all parts of the world. Most rises have been modest, but, in the case of some populations, like in circumpolar peoples, the change has been striking and has been linked to changes in diet that mimic more developed communities. For the rest, the cause has not yet been identified.