Type 1 Diabetes More Likely to Be Diagnosed During the Winter Months
A new study has confirmed that people are more likely to be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes during the winter. The findings are the result of a study done by doctors at the University of Cambridge. They looked at why some illnesses are more likely to be diagnosed during certain times of the year. The findings indicated that the differences are due to the fact that the temperature and weather conditions may trigger the onset of certain conditions.
The researchers, lead by study co-author Professor John Todd, looked at blood and tissue samples from more than 16,000 people from around the word. They looked at 22,000 from each individual. The results indicated that roughly 25 percent of these genes demonstrated seasonal variation. Genes that affect the immune system are more active during cooler months.
While an increased immune system is helpful for getting rid of issues, such as the flu virus, it can also result in the worsening of certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The immune system changes can also result in changes for how the body produces insulin. This means that Type 1 diabetes is much more likely to be diagnosed during the months of December, January and February.
However, in countries featuring warm weather for the majority of the year, the genes that affect the immune system are more likely to be active during the rainy season. In these countries, the diagnoses for diseases such as malaria rise rapidly during these times.