Aims To examine incidence and trends of Type 1 diabetes worldwide for the period 1990–1999.
Methods The incidence of Type 1 diabetes (per 100 000/year) was analysed in children aged ≤ 14 years from 114 populations in 112 centres in 57 countries. Trends in the incidence of Type 1 diabetes were analysed by fitting Poisson regression models to the dataset.
Results A total of 43 013 cases were diagnosed in the study populations of 84 million children. The age-adjusted incidence of Type 1 diabetes among 112 centres (114 populations) varied from 0.1 per 100 000/year in China and Venezuela to 40.9 per 100 000/year in Finland. The average annual increase in incidence calculated from 103 centres was 2.8% (95% CI 2.4–3.2%). During the years 1990–1994, this increase was 2.4% (95% CI 1.3–3.4%) and during the second study period of 1995–1999 it was slightly higher at 3.4% (95% CI 2.7–4.3%). The trends estimated for continents showed statistically significant increases all over the world (4.0% in Asia, 3.2% in Europe and 5.3% in North America), except in Central America and the West Indies where the trend was a decrease of 3.6%. Only among the European populations did the trend in incidence diminish with age.
Conclusions The rising incidence of Type 1 diabetes globally suggests the need for continuous monitoring of incidence by using standardized methods in order to plan or assess prevention strategies.