Correlation between Diabetes and environment?

I haven't kept up on any new studies, and I have no idea if this question is answerable, but when I was young, there were two other kids in my class that had Type 1. They were both my good friends, and having shared our stories, we discovered to have been diagnosed at similar times, and lived in our home town. The girl and I have birthdays TWO days apart. October 7th and October 9th, can you believe it?

Then, a boy only 2 years younger than us was diagnosed about the same age we all were diagnosed, and we had this nice little click going. Is it possible that some factor took over here and happened to effect us? I was told my mom got a virus while I was in the womb and what resulted was one Diabetic Mandie.

It's something that I've always wondered about.

Just theorizing, but maybe you were all genetically inclined toward autoimmune diseases already, and then a virus that can trigger such things came through your area?

its funny you should mention that because all the people i know who were diagnosed over 25 years of age like me were all in NOVEMBER around thanksgiving... so weird


I think you are on to something there. I was thinking along the same lines. I wonder if it's possible that all of our mothers got sick while pregnant and then our diabetic symptoms took a while to present? I don't know, but I like your theory. Thanks!



so weird!! Maybe Keely is on to something and we were just all pre-disposed to diabetes due to defunked immune systems... still, soooo weird.

Oh man, I have wondered about this for 2 years now since my son was diagnosed...When I was pregnant with him, I drank diet pepsi (and I didn't with his sister who is not diabetic). I know the idea  is strangely somehow back-door related, but I wonder if that artificial sweetner could have done something...:(...that or the massive amounts of hot fudge sundaes! Aside from that, I do wonder what our environment, what we are breathing and what we are being fed, really is doing to our bodies. sigh...


When I hear environment and type 1 diabetes I think sun exposure.  There is a huge link between vitamin D adequacy and T1DM.  Check it out...

In this new study, the researchers found that populations living at or near the equator, where there is abundant sunshine (and ultraviolet B irradiance) have low incidence rates of type 1 diabetes. Conversely, populations at higher latitudes, where available sunlight is scarcer, have higher incidence rates. These findings add new support to the concept of a role of vitamin D in reducing risk of this disease.

“This is the first study, to our knowledge, to show that higher serum levels of vitamin D are associated with reduced incidence rates of type 1 diabetes worldwide,” said Cedric F. Garland, Dr. P.H., professor of Family and Preventive Medicine in the UCSD School of Medicine, and member of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center.

“This research suggests that childhood type 1 diabetes may be preventable with a modest intake of vitamin D3 (1000 IU/day) for children, ideally with 5 to 10 minutes of sunlight around noontime, when good weather allows,” said Garland. “Infants less than a year old should not be given more than 400 IU per day without consulting a doctor.  Hats and dark glasses are a good idea to wear when in the sun at any age, and can be used if the child will tolerate them.”

Perhaps the main thing wasn't what happened in the womb, but maybe it was that you all were in an area that wasn't getting enough sun (-> vitamin D).  Most likely, it was a combination of a LOT of things... but it's very interesting how everything together seemed to have triggerred all of you in similar manners.

I'm sure there are correlations between diabetes and environmental factors but you need to keep in mind that correlation does not equal causation.  Most likely there is an interaction between genetics, environment, and behavior but systematic study would be required before trustworthy conclusions could be warranted.

Just wanted to add my two cents.. 5 girls in my town, statistically significant as out of the 200 students attending out district (out of 3 towns total) all 5 are from 1 town, 3 on the same road, 2 within a month of each other diagnosed, and 2 in the same class.  The moms of the other 3 are about the same age as well.  Who knows what variety of factors caused all of this, but it is interesting.  4 out of the 5 have no family history.

I work in a diabetes research lab and this is one issue we study. There is no current answer to this question, just a lot of theories (virus, cow's milk, lack of vitamin D, better hygiene, the list goes on and on). I study vitamin D and T1D. There is a higher incidence of T1D as you move away from the equator, but there are exceptions to this. Also, more diagnoses are made in winter months rather than summer months, when it can be assumed the amount of vitamin D synthesized by exposure to sunlight is less and the exposure to viruses is greater. The TEDDY study should significantly aid our understanding of the role of the enviroment in the development of T1D in genetically at-risk individuals. Also, the majority of diagnoses are made in individuals who have no prior family history of disease.

Haven't heard of the TEDDY study, please post a citation if you can (if its out yet).

[quote user="Eric_Carpenter"]

Haven't heard of the TEDDY study, please post a citation if you can (if its out yet).



The TEDDY study is ongoing. You can read about it here: