Do Rural Areas Have Lower Type 1 Incidence?

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By: Daniel Trecroci

Researchers at the University of Ancona in Italy discovered a statistically significant difference in the incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes among people living in Italy. The more populated urban areas had almost double the type 1 rate of the rural areas. The researchers hypothesize that in the urban areas, there is probably genetic mingling because of continuous migration, whereas the genetic background of the original population is conserved better in rural areas.

According to the June issue of Diabetologia, two areas were evaluated: area A, the central-eastern region of Italy made up of the Marche, Abruzzo and Umbria regions, and area B, the southwestern region of Italy made up primarily of Campania. The incidence of type 1 diabetes was higher in area A (9.6 cases per 100,000 people) versus area B (5.4 cases per 100,000 people). In both areas, “the standardized incidence ratios increased with the degree of urbanization.”

The researchers also point out that geographical distance between areas A and B is only 30 kilometers, but climactic conditions are different, with higher average temperatures and lower average rainfall in area B.

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