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The incidence of type 1 diabetes among the children of northeastern Poland doubled in just four years, according to a study published in the October 2001 issue of Diabetologia. The increase occurred primarily in rural areas, with the highest incidence rates recorded during the winter.
Researchers from the Medical Academy of Bialystok compared the number of type 1 cases recorded in hospitals and outpatient diabetes clinics from 1994 through 1998 in Bialystok, the northeastern region of Poland.
"We found a significant rising trend in the incidence of type 1 diabetes in children under 15 years of age (in 1998 the incidence was approximately twice as high as in 1994)," the study says. It also notes that incidence peaked during the winter months and was lowest during the summer. In addition, the increase was most evident among the rural population, not among urban dwellers.
Because cases of type 1 were low in Bialystok in the early 1990s, that region is now considered to be a "moderate" risk area, the researchers note.