, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 187-192

Incidence trends in childhood onset IDDM in four countries around the Baltic sea during 1983–1992


We present secular trends of childhood onset insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) in Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania during the period of 1983–1992. Incidence data were obtained from the national IDDM registries. The average age-standardized incidence per 100 000/year was 35.0 in Finland, followed by 10.2 in Estonia, 7.1 in Lithuania and 6.5 in Latvia. A male excess in incidence was recorded in Finland (1.15) and Latvia (1.01). In all countries, the highest age-specific risk of IDDM was observed in the 11–13 year age range. The large difference in incidence between Finland and other Baltic countries was seen even in 1–2-year-old children. During the 10-year study period overall changes in incidence of IDDM were relatively small in these four countries. The incidence increased in Finland and Lithuania on average by 1 % and 1.4 % per year, respectively. A statistically significant increase was recorded only in 0–4 year old children in Finland, at 5.6 % per year. In Estonia, an 8.3 % increase in this age group, however, was not statistically significant. The different trends in the age-group specific incidence rates were confirmed in Finland. In conclusion, from 1983 to 1992 the incidence of childhood onset IDDM was increasing in Finland and Lithuania, while in Latvia and Estonia it was stable. There are still great differences in IDDM incidence between the countries around the Baltic Sea. [Diabetologia (1997) 40: 187–192]

Received: 27 May 1996 and in revised form: 4 September 1996