Diabetes is a disorder wherein a complete or relative insulin deficiency occurs. The two main types of diabetes are type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes IDDM) and type 2 or non-insulin dependent diabetes NIDDM). Type 1 most usually takes place at a young age that is why it is called childhood diabetes. Childhood diabetes is more popularly known as juvenile diabetes. It is now the third most prevalent severe chronic childhood disease.
Immune-mediated cells or the B-cells in the pancreatic islets that produces insulin are destructed and this damage from immunologic changes leads to insulin deficiency and increase concentration of glucose in the blood. According to Weinzimer, the disease can affect 1 in every 1,500 children under the age of 5 years and increases to 1 in 350 by age 16 cited in Pilliteri, 2003).
CDC estimated that about 151,000 people not more than 20 years old acquired the disease and each year, there are approximately 13,000 young people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. But a growing prevalence of type 2 diabetes among young people was noticed for American Indians youths. The age of these people ranges from 10 to 19, all belonging to ethnic groups. WHO, in partnership with International Diabetes Federation IDF), is committed to improving quality diabetes care through continuous epidemiological assessments conducted around the world.
Other ubstantial international collaborative studies from a lot of organizations worldwide such as Diabetes Epidemiology Research International, WHO Diabetes Mondiale project and Concerted Action EURODIAB have given vital epidemiological knowledge regarding type 1 childhood diabetes. But on other continents like Asia, Africa and South America, there is a shortage and scarcity of helpful data Dabelea & Klingensmith, 2008).
There is an unknown cause why autoimmune destruction of islet cells occur in diabetes, but recent assumption that both genetic and environmental factors maneuver such process. Children at risk are believed to have high frequency of specific human leukocyte antigens settled on chromosome 6, which predisposes a child to developing diabetes. “Subsequent studies indicate that virtually all genes in the HLA region are associated with IIDM in all in all studied populations.
These findings are not surprising in light of the strong linkage disequilibrium between genes in the region” Davidson, 2000, 76). There is a dramatic difference on the incidence of type 1 childhood diabetes around the world. In the US, the rate is 1 per 600 children, which is lower than Scandinavian countries, reciprocal to European and higher than Asian. Finland got the highest number of reported cases with 35. 3 per 100,000 per year.
Mexico with 0. 6 per 100,000 got the lowest rate in North America and is considered as one of the lowest incidence rates in the world. Prince Edward Island got the highest rate in North America with 23. per 100,000. The incidence peak occurs earlier on females than males. Juvenile diabetes incidence rate increases with increasing age. Pubertal growth is said to be linked with minor incidence rate between ages 11 to 14 and there is a marked decline of incidence after the stage of puberty since puberty is believed to be the period of peak incidence.
There is a chance for the other siblings to develop the disease if one child in a family already has because of the possibility of having the same HLA antigens present in the body. In terms of mortality rates, those belonging to a well-established societies with the finest health facilities for quality health care and management has n overall rate of 0. 09 deaths per 100 patients years. On the other hand, there is a higher mortality rate for people residing on less-developed communities with an alarming rate of 65 deaths per 100 patients’ years.