Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5% to 10% of all patients with diabetes. It is the most commonly diagnosed diabetes of youth (under 20 years of age) and causes ≥85% of all diabetes cases in this age group worldwide.[3] It is estimated that 1,106,500 people aged 0-19 years have type 1 diabetes worldwide, with 132,600 newly diagnosed cases each year.[4]

In the US from 2011-2012, more than 17,900 people aged under 20 years were newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes annually (annual rate for new cases about 21 in 100,000).[5] In a study of adults diagnosed with diabetes in the US in 2016 and 2017, type 1 diabetes accounted for 5.6% of cases.[6]

There is significant geographic variation in the incidence of type 1 diabetes. It is more common in Europeans and less common in Asians. Thus, a child in Finland is 40 times more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than a child in Japan and almost 100 times more likely to get the disease than a child in the Zunyi region of China.[7] Worldwide, the incidence of type 1 diabetes is increasing by 3% every year, although the reasons for this are unclear.[8][9][10][11] One report showed a more rapid increase in nonwhite racial and ethnic groups.[12]

Type 1 diabetes can present at any age, with the highest incidence observed in children aged 10-14 years.[3] It affects males and females equally.[3]

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