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Diabetes in children on rise

Study shows that the percentage of children below 14 years developing Type 1 diabetes has been going up.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Sydney
UPDATED ON JUL 03, 2008 04:45 PM IST

The percentage of children under 14 developing Type-1 diabetes has been going up, a new study has found.

Over 6,000 Australian children aged up to 14 years developed Type-1 diabetes between 2000 and 2006, according to a report.

The report indicated that the rate of such new cases was highest among children aged 10-14 years at 29 per 100,000 population.

Type-1 diabetes, in most cases, is caused by autoimmune destruction of pancreas cells that produce insulin, required by the body to take up glucose from blood and use as energy source. It requires insulin replacement in order to survive.

The rate of new cases of Type-1 diabetes is rising at around three percent annually. Katherine Faulks of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare informed that "the rate increased significantly from 19 children per 100,000 population in 2000 to 23 per 100,000 population in 2006".

"Despite popular perception, Type-1 diabetes does not only develop in childhood - it can arise at any age. But the disease develops at a lower rate throughout adulthood," Faulks said.

While childhood diabetes rates rose between 2000 and 2006, the rates for people aged 15-24 years remained fairly stable, but for people aged 25 or over, the rates fell.

"This is consistent with other studies showing that the incidence is increasing among children but not among young adults," Faulks said.

There were almost 9,000 new cases of Type-1 diabetes in people aged 15 years or over between 2000 and 2006, with males over the age of 15 almost twice as likely as females of the same age to develop the disease.

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