Is there a link between COVID and Type 1 Diabetes in kids?
There has been recent reports and concerning articles suggesting that COVID-19 is leading to an uptick of new cases of Type 1 Diabetes in kids but is this potential link something parents and kids have to worry about? Or is this more headline hype?
On a recent Causes or Cures Podcast, Dr. Lars Stene joined me to discuss risk factors for Type 1 Diabetes and the trend of diagnosing new cases in kids over the last several years. He then discusses the potential, talked-about link between COVID and Type 1 Diabetes in kids and provides his perspective on the current evidence. Pay extra attention to his discussion on relative risk vs absolute risk because what those things actually mean vs how they are often presented to us in the headlines sometimes don’t match. Meaning our perception about risk can be skewed by a number in a headline which may not mean what we perceive it to mean. Risk is tricky and statistics are tricky, and I think we need to be more mindful of how headlines can perpetuate a culture of fear that is not necessary given the actual risk. Headline writers “should” take that into account, even if the article itself is more tempered, but my guess is that they are driven first by what gets clicks and therefore more ad revenue for the media site. These are the times we live in…
Anyhow, Dr. Stene will also discuss his current research on risk factors for Type I Diabetes and, something I found interesting, the “exposome.” It’s not a word I’ve heard before, but it has to do with trying to measure the impact of all of the potential exposures a person may be exposed to. Does that sound hard? lol…yes, yes…it sure does.
Dr. Stene is a senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. For over 20 years, his focus is researching environmental factors, infections, nutritional factors and gene-environment interactions that may be risks for Type 1 Diabetes. You can learn more about his work here.
Listen to a potential link between COVID and Type 1 Diabetes in kids here.
You can also check out recent episodes from the Causes or Cures Podcast, including this one on potential new treatments for multiple sclerosis.
Or this one on the “misinformation on misinformation.”
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Thanks all and chat soon -Eeks.