Type 1 Diabetes Associated With Common Cold Virus

Enteroviruses are the second leading cause of viral colds in children.

| Feb 8, 2011

It's generally thought that a genetic predisposition to type 1 diabetes is not enough to develop the disease, but that an environmental trigger is required to activate it. Researchers are not sure what that environmental trigger is, but enteroviruses have been under suspicion for quite a while. Enteroviruses are the second leading cause of viral colds in children.

Now, a meta-analysis of 26 studies, published online in the British Medical Journal, has found that children with type 1 diabetes are nearly 10 times more likely to show signs of enterovirus infection than children without type 1.

A previous review of studies had found no link to type 1 diabetes, but those studies had searched for antibodies to enteroviruses in the blood.  This analysis examined studies that had used molecular methods to test for the virus. Molecular testing, which looks for viral protein or RNA, is more sensitive than blood testing. 

Overall, data on more than 4,440 patients were studied. Of those with newly diagnosed diabetes, 43 percent had had a recent enterovirus infection, compared to just 6 percent of the control group. Children with the autoimmunity that precedes type 1 were three times more likely to show enterovirus infection signs than controls.

Because the incidence of type 1 diabetes in Europe has risen almost four percent a year in recent years, scientists are looking for a change in environmental triggers that might explain that rise. One theory is the "hygiene hypothesis," which proposes that mothers in countries with improved hygiene don't pass on as many protective antibodies to their children as mothers in the past, making their babies more susceptible to infections from viruses. 

These new findings don't prove causation; that is, the researchers cannot tell if the virus caused the diabetes, or if the diabetes made the patients more vulnerable to the virus. More research is called for. However, if it is eventually proven that enterovirus infection triggers type 1 diabetes, a vaccination could be developed that might prevent it.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Health Care, Health Research, New Cure Research, Research, The Cure, Type 1 Issues

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (1)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Posted by Anonymous on 26 November 2011

that is interesting. i have diabetes, but nobody in my family does and it was never in my family history either. I had the stomach flu very bad a few months before i was diagnosed... i wonder if it did cause my diabetes???

Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.