Diabetes in the under-5s is predicted to affect twice as many children by 2020.
The number of children under 5 with Type 1 diabetes in 2020 could be double the figure of under-5s that had the disease in 2005 if the current trend continues, say researchers. Type 1 diabetes is also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes.
The researchers said 24,400 new cases of diabetes in children is predicted in Europe in 2020. In 2005, there were 15,000 cases. This would mean an increase from 3,530 cases to 7,140 cases for children under 5 years.
This rise is thought to be too steep to be credited to just genetic factors. It’s suggested that changes in our environment – such as less exposure to germs and an increase in caesareans – could be contributing.
Earlier research has reported that there’s a 20% higher risk of developing Type 1 diabetes for children born by caesarean than those delivered vaginally.
Around a quarter of a million people have Type 1 diabetes. Of this figure, 20,000 are children.
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