The article says kids infected with enterovirus strains of the common cold are a nearly ten times more likely to have type 1 diabetes.
A link between enterovirus associated with the common cold and type 1 diabetes in kids has long been suspected.
Maria E. Craig, PhD, of the University of New South Wales in Sydney commented on the findings:
- “We saw a very strong association between enterovirus infection and type 1 diabetes,.. Obviously studies like the ones we looked at cannot prove cause and effect, but the findings make a strong case for this association.”
- Children with symptoms of pre-diabetes were found to be three times as likely to have been infected with enterovirus. Also linked to the findings is what is known as the “hygiene hypothesis,” in which improved sanitization methods are thought to have some possible negative health consequences:
- The thinking is that improved hygiene has left babies more vulnerable to assaults from viruses like enterovirus because mothers today pass on fewer protective antibodies than were passed on by past generations of mothers.
If enteroviruses play a big role in type 1 diabetes, the so-called “hygiene hypothesis” could explain why type 1 diabetes rates have not risen in poorer, less industrialized countries, according to Virologist Didier Hober, MD, PhD, of France’s University Lille.
Early exposure to common allergens such as gluten and cow’s milk has also been cited in possibly affected increased rates of type 1 diabetes in children.