Epidemiology and Risk Factors of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is one of the most widespread chronic diseases of childhood. T1D results from the autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Genetic, epigenetic, metabolic, and environmental factors act together to precipitate the onset of the disease. Clinical T1D represents the end stage of a process resulting from the progressive beta-cell destruction following an asymptomatic period that may last for years. This knowledge, together with recent advances in the ability to identify individuals at increased risk for clinical disease, has paved the way for trials aimed at preventing or delaying the clinical onset of T1D. Individuals at risk for T1D can be identified by a positive family history or by genetic, immunological, or metabolic markers. These markers can be combined to achieve a higher positive predictive value for T1D and to identify those individuals to be selected for intervention trials.
The purpose of this chapter is to set out the epidemiology and the main risk factors which characterizes T1D.
KeywordsAge Body mass index (BMI) Epidemiology Geography Gender Risk factors Seasonality Type 1 diabetes
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