Causes of Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is believed to be an autoimmune disease. The body's immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
  • A predisposition to develop type 1 diabetes may run in families, but genetic causes (a postitive family history) is much more common for type 2 diabetes.

  • Environmental factors, including common unavoidable viral infections, may also contribute.

  • Type 1 diabetes is most common in people of non-Hispanic, Northern European descent (especially Finland and Sardinia), followed by African Americans, and Hispanic Americans. It is relatively rare in those of Asian descent.

  • Type 1 diabetes is slightly more common in men than in women.

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