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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Colin Muirhead,
Dr Timothy Cheetham,
Dr Simon Court,
Dr Richard McNally
Background: Previous studies have indicated that type 1 diabetes may have an infectious origin. The presence of temporal clustering - an irregular temporal distribution of cases - would provide additional evidence that occurrence may be linked with an agent that displays epidemicity. We tested for the presence and form of temporal clustering using population-based data from northeast England. Materials and methods: The study analysed data on children aged 0-14 years diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during the period 1990–2007 and resident in a defined geographical region of northeast England (Northumberland, Newcastle upon Tyne and North Tyneside). Tests for temporal clustering by time of diagnosis were applied using a modified version of the Potthoff-Whittinghill method. Results: The study analysed 468 cases of children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. There was highly statistically significant evidence of temporal clustering over periods of a few months and over longer time intervals (p<0.001). The clustering within years did not show a consistent seasonal pattern. Conclusions: The study adds to the growing body of literature that supports the involvement of infectious agents in the aetiology of type 1 diabetes in children. Specifically it suggests that the precipitating agent or agents involved might be an infection that occurs in “mini-epidemics”.
Author(s): Muirhead CR, Cheetham TD, Court S, Begon M, McNally RJQ
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: PLoS One
Print publication date: 03/04/2013
Date deposited: 09/07/2013
ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Notes: Article no. e60489 is 6 pp.
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