Mysterious increase in diabetes in children

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Significant increase in diabetes in children puzzles

In Germany, the number of children and adolescents who develop type 1 diabetes has increased dramatically in recent years. Around 30,000 adolescents are already affected. The reason for this is puzzling.

Diabetes not only in overweight and older people Many people automatically think of diabetes as being overweight or older. But unlike type 2, type 1 diabetes is not related to obesity and unhealthy eating. And small children are also becoming increasingly ill. Nationwide, around 30,000 children and adolescents between the ages of 0 and 19 now suffer from type 1 diabetes. German Diabetes Aid warns that around 2,100 to 2,300 children up to the age of 14 will be added every year. In this disease, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed by your own immune system.

Rise puzzles This rapid rise in children's diabetes puzzles. "Researchers have not yet been able to fully clarify which factors trigger this fatal defense reaction," explains the German Diabetes Association. Infections could potentially play a role. Thomas Danne, chief physician at the children's and adolescent hospital on the Bult in Hanover and chairman of the board of diabetesDE - Deutsche Diabetes Hilfe, also told the news agency "dpa" in advance of the past World Diabetes Day: "Why type 1 diabetes is increasing - you can win a Nobel Prize for the answer. ”Compared to five years ago, more than twice as many children and adolescents in Germany suffer from it.

Rising numbers also in Austria and Switzerland The situation is not looking better in neighboring countries either. According to the newspaper "20 Minuten", the number of sick children in Switzerland is also growing surprisingly quickly. And there are more and more young diabetics in Austria too. "The incidence rate of type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents has more than doubled in the past 20 years," says pediatrician Karl Zwiauer, head of the children's and adolescent department at the St.Pölten State Hospital in Austria. "This is worrying. All the more so since we can't do anything about it, because we don't know why the numbers have increased so much. ”

Increase also in type 2 diabetes In contrast to type 2, obesity and lack of exercise played no role in type 1 diabetes. With type 2, too, the number of sick people at a young age is increasing steadily. The data from the current Diabetes Atlas show that the number of sufferers in Germany rose by a total of 14 percent between 2008 and 2012. The federal states with the highest frequency of diabetes in the population are Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Saarland. (ad)

Image: Michael Horn /

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Video: Day in the Life of Type I Diabetes at 3 yrs old


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