Increasing incidence of type 1 and 2 diabetes among Canadian children

Published:August 21, 2021DOI:
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      Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common pediatric chronic illnesses – while a rising incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes (T1D) has frequently been documented, an almost 400-fold variation in incidence has been seen worldwide. We aimed to describe the trends in incidence rates of diabetes (type 1, type 2, all types) among children and adolescents living in the Greater Montreal Area of Quebec, Canada.


      Using health administrative data (Quebec Integrated Chronic Disease Surveillance System) and medical records from the 3 major pediatric diabetes centres in the GMA, we conducted serial cross-sectional studies of children ages 1-15 years from 2002-2010. We conducted a trend analysis of diabetes incidence over time using multivariate Poisson regression models.


      We identified 696 new cases of diabetes between 2002 and 2010. The age-standardized incidence of diabetes (all types) increased from 16.3 (95% CI 12.4-21.2) to 27.8 (95% CI 22.5-34.0) per 100,000, with annual incidence increasing on average by 5.2% per year (adjusted Rate Ratio (aRR) 1.052, 95% CI 1.022- 1.083). This was predominantly driven by the T1D annual increase of 5.4% (aRR 1.054, 95% CI 1.023-1.086). A low number of incident T2D cases limited trend analysis in this group. There were no significant interactions between year and sex or age.


      The annual incidence of T1D is increasing in Quebec children and does not vary by sex or age. Further research into etiological factors is indicated.

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