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Diabetes

H1N1 infection may increase risk of type 1 diabetes

Researchers from Norway used national registry data to explore if the H1N1 virus could be linked to the development of type 1 diabetes

Micrograph of H1N1 virus

Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Study shows that people with laboratory-confirmed H1N1 or those hospitalised with flu during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic were twice as likely to develop type 1 diabetes as the general population

Infection with H1N1 influenza, also known as swine flu, has been linked to the development of autoimmune disorders.

In a study presented at a recent conference, researchers from Norway used national registry data to explore if the virus could also be linked to the development of type 1 diabetes[1].

From June 2009 to June 2014, of the 76,173 participants who were diagnosed with pandemic influenza, 2,376 people were also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Results showed that people with laboratory-confirmed H1N1 or those hospitalised with flu during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic were twice as likely to develop type 1 diabetes as the general population. In contrast, those diagnosed with influenza in primary care during the pandemic were not at a significantly increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

The researchers said the results provided further evidence that respiratory infections contribute to the development of type 1 diabetes because of stress and inflammation in predisposed individuals.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2017.20203899

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Supplementary images

  • Micrograph of H1N1 virus

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