Swine flu pandemic linked to increased incidence of diabetes

pharmafile | September 19, 2017 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Research and Development biotech, diabetes type 1, drugs, influenza, pharma, pharmaceutical, swine flu 

The swine flu pandemic that swept the world in 2009 may have had unforeseen consequences in some populations, after researchers discovered a link to higher rates of diabetes type 1 in those who had contracted the H1N1 virus.

The research conducted by the University of Oslo and was presented the European Association for the Study of Diabetes was based upon studies conducted in Norway. The results found that the risk was doubled for type 1 diabetes after having fought off the influenza virus.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease wherein the immune system actively sabotages the cells needed to control blood-sugar levels. Though it is typically less prevalent than type 2 diabetes, it is more difficult to manage and it is widely suspected that environmental causes may play some part in some individuals’ chances of developing the condition.

In particular, the study found that of the 2,376 individuals diagnosed with type 1 diabetes following the 2009 pandemic, in Norway, those who reported influenza-like illness were 18% more likely to be diagnosed with the condition; in children below the ages of 15, the association rose to a 25% increased chance.

In verified laboratory studies, these anecdotal results were reinforced – finding that those who had confirmed H1N1 influenza had a doubled risk of later developing type 1 diabetes.

“This study may support the hypothesis that respiratory infections can contribute to the development of type 1 diabetes, due to stress and inflammation in predisposed individuals,” Paz Lopez-Doriga Ruiz and colleagues from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Oslo University Hospital, concluded.

The research currently remains at the hypothesis stage, with no more than causal links between the two conditions. However, the findings open up the possibility for further research into the area to determine how influenza and diabetes type 1 might be interacting in some manner.

Ben Hargreaves

Related Content


Lethal triple mix of winter viruses could “push NHS to breaking point”

A report from the Academy of Medical Sciences has found that a lethal triple mix …

Pfizer sign

Delayed Pfizer vaccine dose gives 3.5 times more immunity, study shows

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is around three and a half times more effective when dosed …

Amgen flag

AstraZeneca and Amgen asthma drug shows positive results in Phase III trial

AstraZeneca and Amgen’s new tezepelumab drug for the treatment of severe asthma has shown superiority …

Latest content