Is type 1 diabetes on the rise?

My 15 yr old son was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He is a freshman a local private school in Sioux City. Out of 100-120 kids in the freshman class, there are 7 kids with type 1 diabetes. (7 or 8 according to his Algebra teacher.). Has anyone heard of a rise in type 1 diabetes or has anyone noticed clusters like this in other cities/towns?

Welcome to our community!!! You will find many answers to your questions here and there is always someone in a similar situation to yours ready to help. There are a couple of factors at play here. Yes, diabetes is on the rise in children and at the same time having a diabetic child make you much more aware of other diabetic children around your area. Beyond that I can’t offer much help as my children (non diabetic) are all grown and my grand children are not diabetic.

Here is an article on the rise of diabetes in youth, There is also often a fine line between diabetes types as I have been diabetic for about 30 years and Joslin has still not been able to type me as I don’t fit any of their profiles.

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My 13 year old nephew was diagnosed this summer. Out of about 350 students in his class, the school nurse told his parents that there are 6 type 1 diabetics including my nephew. I thought that was high.

Yes because of vaccines, high carb & processed foods, and other unnatural factors that mutate the body’s natural functions

Humbug. There’s absolutely no scientific evidence for vaccines causing diabetes.


You mention Sioux City. I’m also from the midwest (the other side of Iowa) and also have a Northern European genetic background - a very common genetic background for those in the midwest.

Please note that it is well established that T1 incidence is far higher among those with genetics from Northern Europe. Quoting Wikipedia:

“Incidence of type 1 diabetes varies from 8 to 17 per 100,000 in Northern Europe and the US, with a high of about 35 per 100,000 in Scandinavia to a low of 1 per 100,000 in Japan and China.”

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Facts are stubborn things.

Welcome to TuD, @T1Mum!


I don’t know about Japan but in China diabetes is considered a disease contracted only by rich folks and no matter how wealthy you are in China it is only politically correct to refer to yourself as poor. So my assumption is that diabetes in China is way under reported to avoid stigmatization.

Note that the incidence numbers quoted are “per year”, not the presence in the population. According to the ADA website, 1.25 million Americans have T1, and that doesn’t count all the LADAs that are still misdiagnosed as T2s. The 1.25 million of 327 million Americans puts the population of T1s at ~380 per 100,000 (still with caveats on misdiagnoses).

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In particular, if I take your 380 per 100,000 diagnosed, and divide it by 17 diagnoses per 100,000 per year, that yields a mean-life for a T1 of 23 years after diagnosis. If instead I divide it by 8 diagnoses per 100,000 per year, that yields a mean-life for a T1 of 47 years. A mean-life-after-diagnosis between 23 and 47 years certainly is believable.

Yep, in fact, vaccines may help prevent it if anything, possibly by preventing serious infections which can trigger autoimmunity: Lower risk of Type 1 diabetes seen in children vaccinated against 'stomach flu' virus -- ScienceDaily

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The reason that Type I diabetes is on the rise is because carriers are not dying of the autoimmune disease. We are in the third generation now of Type I carriers having children. Previous generations of Type I carriers were so ill and died so young that they didn’t procreate, and thus, children with Type I diabetes weren’t born. Nowadays, with the creation of recombinant human insulin and cheap blood sugar testing, Type I carriers are living normal lifespans…

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Adult-onset T1 diabetes always allowed for passing along whatever genetic pre-disposition. My mother gave birth to all of her children before getting diagnosed as diabetic at age 42. They didn’t have T1 vs T2 in those days, but hindsight makes me believe she was LADA. Since slow-adult-onset is apparently twice the population of traditional T1 (which was also always more adult-onset than child), this shouldn’t make a huge difference in passing down diabetes.