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Research Letter |

Infections in Early Life and Development of Type 1 Diabetes

Andreas Beyerlein, PhD1; Ewan Donnachie, MSc2; Sibille Jergens, MSc1; Anette-Gabriele Ziegler, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Institute of Diabetes Research, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Munich, Germany
2Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Bayern (Bavarian Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians), Munich, Germany
JAMA. 2016;315(17):1899-1901. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.2181.
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This population epidemiology study uses regional claims data from Germany to investigate associations between infections in the first 2 years of life and development of type 1 diabetes.

Viral infections, particularly enteroviruses,1 have been hypothesized to cause type 1 diabetes (T1D).2 Recent studies suggest that respiratory tract infections are associated with increased T1D risk if they are encountered within the first 6 months.3 We explored associations between infection types during the first 2 years and between respiratory tract infections in the first 6 months and T1D in a population-based cohort.

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Figure 1.
Type 1 Diabetes Development Risk by Major Infection Symptoms and Infection Type Across Age Intervals Among Children

Error bars indicate 95% confidence intervals. Values adjusted for sex and month of birth.

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Figure 2.
Type 1 Diabetes Development Risk by No. of 3-Month Age Intervals With a Respiratory Tract Infection During the First 6 Months of Lifea

T1D indicates type 1 diabetes; JIA, juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

aDiagnoses of infection, T1D and JIA (as a control autoimmune disease) were obtained using International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, codes recorded in 3-month age intervals over 2 years.

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