Date of Conferral
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic and lifelong condition, often diagnosed in childhood. Patients with T1D are at elevated risks of associated health complications, comorbidities, and mortality. Occurrence, clinical presentation, and complications related to T1D differ by age of onset, ethnicity, and gender. The last reported population-based estimates regarding the burden of T1D in children using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were published in 2008, and these estimates were not well stratified by age of onset, ethnicity, and gender. The purpose of this study was to examine these demographics within the conceptual framework of the hygiene hypothesis using data from NHANES from 1999 to 2012. A cross-sectional study design was used to determine the average age of onset of T1D with respect to ethnicity and gender and to assess if age of onset is associated with ethnicity and gender. The average age of onset was 10.5 years for males and 11.8 years for females. The average age of onset was 13.0 years for Hispanics, 12.7 years for Non-Hispanic Blacks, and 10.6 years for Non-Hispanic Whites. Regression analysis indicated that there was no significant association between age of onset and gender (β = 1.1, p = 0.386) and between age of onset and ethnicity (β= 2.1, p = 0.070 for Hispanic White; β = 1.9, p = 0.101 for Non-Hispanic Black) having considered the Non-Hispanic White as the reference population. The result of this study may contribute to positive social change by providing better insight on demographic determinants of the risk of T1D, which is crucially important in the planning and implementation of prevention measures in highly susceptible populations.