||1Basrah Maternity and Children Hospital 2Department of Pediatrics College of Medicine, University of Basrah
Received: 07 Jan 2011 Accepted: 15 Mar 2011
*Address correspondence and reprints request to: Mea`ad Kadhum Hassan, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Basrah. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Objectives: Environmental factors play an important role in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes mellitus, many of these factors have been uncovered despite much research. A case-control study was carried out to determine the potential maternal, neonatal and early childhood risk factors for type 1 diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents in Basrah.
Methods: A total of 96 diabetic patients who have been admitted to the pediatric wards at 3 main hospitals in Basrah, and those who have visited primary health care centers over the period from the 4th of November 2006 to the end of May 2007 were recruited. In addition, 299 non-diabetic children were included, their age ranged from 18 months to 17 years.
Results: Family history of type 1 diabetes mellitus and thyroid diseases in first and second degree relatives was found to be an independent risk factor for type 1 diabetes mellitus, (p<0.001). Regarding maternal habits and illnesses during pregnancy, the study has revealed that tea drinking during pregnancy is a risk factor for type 1 diabetes mellitus in their offspring, (p<0.05). In addition, maternal pre-eclampsia and infections were found to be significant risk factor for type 1 diabetes mellitus, (p<0.001). Neonatal infections, eczema and rhinitis during infancy were also significantly associated with development of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Moreover, the results revealed that duration of <6 months breast feeding is an important trigger of type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Conclusion: Exposure to environmental risk factors during pregnancy (tea drinking, pre-eclampsia, and infectious diseases), neonatal period (respiratory distress, jaundice and infections) and early infancy are thought to play an important role in triggering the immune process leading to B-cell destruction and the development of type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Keywords: Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus; Risk factors; Children; Adolescents.