Researchers in Ireland suggest that a country’s wealth could be a factor contributing to the incidence of type 1 diabetes. Christopher C. Patterson, senior lecturer at Queen’s University in Belfast, studied the incidence of type 1 diabetes across Europe and how it related to each nation’s economy. Results of the study were published in Supplement 3 of the October 2001 issue of Diabetologia.
Macedonia, a poor country, demonstrated the lowest incidence of type 1 diabetes during that time (3.2 cases/100,000 person years), and Finland had the highest incidence (40.2 cases/100,000 person years). Factors associated with economic wealth, such as infant mortality and gross domestic product, “were most strongly and significantly correlated with [the type 1 diabetes] incidence rate.” Type 1 diabetes was also linked to consumption of milk and coffee as well as to latitude.
The incidence of type 1 diabetes in Europe “could be partially explained” by indicators of wealth, the researchers argue.