The incidence of type 1 diabetes in the age group 0-39 years has not increased in Antwerp (Belgium) between 1989 and 2000: evidence for earlier disease manifestation
Weets, Ilse × De Leeuw, Ivo H Du Caju, Marc V L Rooman, Raoul Keymeulen, Bart Mathieu, Chantal Rottiers, Raoul Daubresse, Jean-Claude Rocour-Brumioul, Danielle Pipeleers, Daniel G Gorus, Frans K #
Diabetes care vol:25 issue:5 pages:840-6
OBJECTIVE: A worldwide increase in the incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes has been observed. Because in various countries the majority of new type 1 diabetic patients are diagnosed in adulthood, we investigated whether the rising incidence of this disorder in children reflects a global increase in the incidence of diabetes or a shift toward earlier clinical presentation. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The incidence of type 1 diabetes presenting before age 40 years was prospectively measured in the Antwerp district over a 12-year period (1989-2000). The completeness of ascertainment was evaluated by the capture-recapture method. Trends in incidence during the study period were analyzed by Poisson regression. RESULTS: The incidence of type 1 diabetes diagnosed before age 40 years remained constant over the 12-year period, averaging 9.9 cases per 100,000 individuals per year. The incidence was similar in both sexes under age 15 years, but a marked male excess was noted for adult-onset disease, in particular after age 20 years, resulting in a male-to-female ratio of 0.9 under age 15 years vs. 1.6 thereafter (P = 0.001). During the 12-year observation period, there was a significant tendency toward increasing incidence under age 15 years at the expense of a decreasing incidence between ages 15 and 40 years (P = 0.025). The annual increase in incidence averaged 1.8% under age 15 years and 5.0% under age 5 years (P = 0.06). CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that in Belgium, the increasing incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes-especially for children under age 5 years-is not attributable to a global increase in disease incidence, but rather to earlier clinical manifestation. The results suggest that an environmental factor may preferentially accelerate the subclinical disease process in young diabetes-prone subjects.