Diabetes increase in children: is Corona the cause? | miscellany


Corona: Does the virus cause diabetes in children?

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11.02.2022, 18:25

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Biontech/Pfizer files for US emergency use vaccine for under-fives

Biontech/Pfizer files for US emergency use vaccine for under-fives

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Increase of 15 percent: After each wave of the pandemic, significantly more boys and girls develop type 1 diabetes. Researchers are puzzled.

Children and young people have in the Corona-pandemic made the greatest sacrifices of all population groups – this statement is now considered a truism. But it is getting new nourishment from a current study: Because the pandemic waves were followed by another one almost exactly a quarter of a year apart disease wave: Significantly more boys and girls than was actually expected fell ill with type 1 diabetes around three months after the highest number of Covid 19 cases.

This alarming finding was determined by a team led by pediatric diabetologist Clemens Kamrath from the Justus Liebig University (JLU) in Giessen. A second Understanding is that the younger the girls and boys were, the more frequently type 1 diabetes was diagnosed.

Type 1 diabetes is also called juvenile (juvenile) diabetes because it mainly occurs in minors. It is the most common metabolic disease in children and adolescents. It is a so-called Autoimmunerkrankungwhich means: The human immune system is directed against parts of the body itself. Also read:This study on long-Covid in children gives hope

Type 1 diabetes cannot be cured

In type 1 diabetes, the body’s own defense cells destroy insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This means that the body can no longer produce any insulin at all, but it can produce it for the utilization of Zucker and other carbohydrates needed. Type 1 diabetes cannot be cured; sufferers have to live with it their entire lives Insulin supply from the outside.

Scientists have long suspected that type 1 diabetes occurs more frequently after infections. In addition to the genetic predisposition, the contagious disease presumably acts as a trigger.

While the Giessen researchers only looked at type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents, a second current study sees this as a possible possibility context between Covid-19 and diabetes in minors is different: it comes from the US health authority CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), but does not differentiate between diabetes type 1 and 2, the so-called adult-onset diabetes.

Criticism of study by the US health authority

Common to all diabetes diseases is a constantly high level of sugar in the blood, which is why the disease occurs in the Germans also called diabetes. Type 2 is significantly more common than type 1.

One of the main differences between the two forms is that Typ-2-Diabetes caused by an unhealthy lifestyle – severe obesity and lack of exercise – and by a change in the nutritional style as well as other everyday habits can be influenced. Because nowadays many children and adolescents do too little sport and are obese, there are more and more cases of “adult-onset diabetes” in minors, especially in the USA.

The lack of differentiation between type 1 and type 2 diabetes in the US study is one of the main criticisms of the CDC study, and the lack of representativeness is a second. In addition, the study from the United States their main focus on a different connection than the Gießen study did: the US researchers tried to find a connection between a Sars-CoV-2-Infektion and a subsequent outbreak of diabetes in both boys and girls.

“We believe that it is not directly the pathogen that causes diabetes”

The Gießen team did show a connection with the pandemic waves. However, study leader Kamrath is fairly certain that the children and adolescents included in his study were not likely to be infected with the then new type of corona virus. It can no longer be determined with certainty whether the children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have previously gone through Covid-19, because from the first few months the pandemic systematic studies on this are lacking. This is pointed out by Reinhard W. Holl from the University of Ulm, who keeps a register of diabetes diseases and worked for the Giessen team on the study.

Study leader Kamrath explains: “Somehow it’s already the pandemic, but the pandemic has many facets.” He suspects a connection with the measures to contain the respective pandemic waves: In the first wave, schools and kindergartens were closed, but not in the second wave continuous. Thus infected in the second wave of the pandemic significantly more girls and boys with Sars-CoV-2. The newly diagnosed cases of diabetes a quarter of a year later were after both Pandemiewellen roughly equal in number. “We therefore believe that it is not directly the pathogen that triggers the diabetes,” says Kamrath.

Greatest rise in diabetes in children under the age of six

However, in addition to the temporal connection, it is very clear that age influence recognizable. Type 1 diabetes developed significantly more frequently in boys and girls under the age of six than in children between six and twelve years of age, while the number of young people aged twelve and over with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes did not differ particularly greatly from empirical values.

Kamrath starts from the so-called hygiene thesis: children would have Winter 2020/21 because of the reduction of social contacts hardly ever had harmless infections like the common cold, he says.

According to the hypothesis of the Gießen study, social distancing could have triggered an autoimmune reaction in the affected children and led to the noticeable increase in type 1 diabetes cases. “Infections can trigger type 1 diabetes, but not enough infections could also have an influence,” the scientist summarizes his thesis.

Psychological stress could contribute to the increase

And the younger the kids, the less trained it is immune system – that would explain why toddlers and kindergarten children were affected more frequently than older boys and girls. In addition, the psychological stress caused by the measures taken to contain the pandemic could also play a role.

About the study:

Between January 2020 and June 2021, the Gießen Diabetes Study collected nationwide how often new type 1 diabetes occurred in children and adolescents and compared this with figures from 2011 to 2019. The data comes from the nationwide DPV register ( Diabetes patient progress documentation), which is kept by the pediatric diabetologist Reinhard W. Holl at the University of Ulm.

During the study period, 5162 children and adolescents with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes were registered – 15 percent more (24.4 instead of 21.1 cases per 100,000 children per year) than was statistically to be expected.

This article first appeared on morgenpost.de.

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