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article imageType 1 diabetes in European children under five expected to rise

By Nancy Houser     Nov 7, 2011 in Health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, scientific studies in Europe show an increase in the frequency of type 1 diabetes, primarily in young children. It is unclear if similar patterns are in U.S. youth.
Findings from a Finland study, under Matej Orešič from the VTT Technical Research Center, in collaboration with the DIPP-Finnish Type 1 Diabetes and Prediction study, have found that “specific metabolic disturbances precede early β-cell autoimmunity markers in young children who subsequently progress to type 1 diabetes.”(Science Daily, Oct. 28, 2011)
However, the study left questions about the environmental causes and tissue- specific mechanisms leading to the disease, with the environmental factors and molecular mechanisms that results in Type 1 diabetes lacking enough data.
The disease is now of great public health interest as "new cases of Type 1 diabetes in European children less than 5 years of age is expected to double between 2005 and 2020, according to the Science Daily report. (Medical News, Oct. 29, 2011)
The lead researcher of the study is Matej Orešič from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, with collaborators Eriika Savontaus from the University of Turku, Samuel Kaski from Aalto University and Mikael Knip from the University of Helsinki.
Their findings were published on October 27, 2011, in the PLoS Computational Biology Journal, with financial support from the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation Tekes, the Seventh Framework Program of the European Community, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
The press release went on to say, "Professor Mikael Knip, Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki, who has been responsible for the analyses of diabetes‐predictive autoantibodies states that 'the study showed that the safe and simple dietary intervention applied in this pilot trial was capable of reducing the emergence of diabetes‐predictive autoantibodies by about 50% by age 10 in the participants carrying increased disease risk.' "
According to an earlier Nov. 10, 2011, press release from the University of Helsinki, a published Finnish study in the New England Journal of Medicine confirms the hypothesis “shows for the first time that dietary intervention in infancy can prevent the initiation of the disease process leading to type 1 diabetes among high-risk children.”
An even earlier Finnish study in 2008 under Research Scientist Marko Sysi-Aho, Senior Research Scientist Tuulikki Seppänen-Laakso and Research Professor Matej Orešič, had reported a breakthrough in the development of Diabetes 1.
The incidence of type 1 diabetes among children and adolescents has increased markedly in the Western countries during recent decades. The incidence has reached record levels in Finland, where currently 1 child out of 120 develops type 1 diabetes before the age of 15 years. The annual incidence is increasing at accelerated rate, with the number of new cases expected to double in the next 15 years.
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