The epidemic of type 1 diabetes: What is it telling us?

Gregory P. Forlenza, Marian Rewers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disorder which affects millions around the world. The incidence of T1D in children is increasing worldwide at a rate that cannot be explained by genetics alone. This review explores the recent research regarding possible causes of this epidemic. Recent Findings: Investigation into T1D epidemiology has recently focused on several hypotheses. These theories include the role of infections, early childhood diet, vitamin D exposure, environmental pollutants, increased height velocity, obesity, and insulin resistance in the risk for T1D. Over the past year, the evidence has strengthened for early childhood infections, dietary proteins, and insulin resistance as risk factors for T1D, but not for vitamin D exposure or environmental pollutants. Summary: Investigation into the source of the current epidemic of T1D has shed light on several possible causes, but has not provided definitive answers, yet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-251
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • incidence
  • type 1 diabetes


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