Respiratory infections as infants increase the risk of diabetes
Although it seems trivial, but diseases such as mild respiratory infection that occurs when children aged zero to six months may increase a child’s risk for developing type 1 diabetes until doubled. If the child is exposed to a respiratory infection at the age of six months to 12 months, the risk will be reduced to 32 percent.
Even so, the researchers stressed that this could be not the same for all children, because this study is only performed on children who have a high risk of diabetes, the child who has had a family history of diabetes.
“In general, the immune system is still in its infancy when the kids were babies. To that end, the immune system is still vulnerable if challenged by the virus that causes the infection,” said study author Andreas Beyerlein, from the Institute of Diabetes Research in Munich, as reported by U.S. News (01/07).
These results were found after researchers followed 148 children aged under three months. All infants had family members and relatives who have type 1 diabetes. Researchers recorded history of infection and illness experienced by babies what ever suffered by the child until they are three years old.
At the end of the study, scientists found that children exposed to respiratory infection at the age of six months had a risk of developing type 1 diabetes are two times greater than children who did not experience respiratory infections. Beyerlein explained that not only affect the number of infections, but also time and age when exposed to infection.
Furthermore, Beyerlein suggested that parents who have a child at risk of developing type 1 diabetes keep their children from possible respiratory infection in infancy. It is necessary to avoid increasing the risk of children developing diabetes as adults. Researchers will conduct further studies to identify the type of virus that can cause infection and lead to increased risk of diabetes in infants.