Continuous rise in incidence of childhood Type 1 diabetes in Germany

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Abstract

Aims

To assess the incidence and the trend in incidence of Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) in children and adolescents < 15 years of age in Baden-Württemberg (BW), Germany.

Methods

BW is Germany's third largest federal state. All 31 paediatric departments in BW and one diabetes centre participated in the study. Case registration was done according to the EURODIAB criteria. The degree of ascertainment was 97.2%.

Results

From 1987 to 2003, the age- and sex-standardized incidence rate was 14.1/100 000 per year [95% confidence interval (CI) 13.7, 14.6, n = 4017]. The estimated annual increase in incidence was 3.8% (95% CI 1.1, 6.6). Compared with the first years of our registry, the current mean number of new cases of T1DM has doubled (1987–1989, n = 153; 2000–2003, n = 302). Generally, the highest rise in incidence occurred in the youngest age group of 0–4-year-old patients (5.8%; 95% CI 2.5, 9.3), followed by the age groups 5–9 (3.4%; 95% CI 0.8, 6.0) and 10–14 (2.7%; 95% CI 0.3, 5.1).

Conclusions

In Germany, the number of children and adolescents with new-onset T1DM has been rising at a faster pace than expected. A distinct shift to younger age at onset has been observed in Germany.

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