Acta Diabetologica

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 73–78 | Cite as

The geospatial relation between UV solar radiation and type 1 diabetes in Newfoundland

Original Article


Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) has been previously associated with northern latitude and vitamin D insufficiency. This study investigates the geospatial association between average daily ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiance and T1DM across the province of Newfoundland (NL), Canada. NL has one of the highest documented incidences of T1DM worldwide. A complete list of patients diagnosed (1987–2005) with T1DM in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) was constructed using multiple sources. All places of habitation at diagnosis were ascertained. Ecological analysis using Bayesian estimation was performed employing both NASA UVB data and latitude. Correlation of T1DM to both UVB irradiation and latitude was measured. A statistically significant correlation of erythemal UVB irradiance was observed (−0.0284: 95% CI −0.0542 to −0.0096). A more significant correlation of T1DM was observed with erythemal UVB irradiance than with latitude. This study suggests that erythemal UVB radiation may be geospatially associated with the incidence of T1DM in NL.


Type 1 diabetes Epidemiology Ecological analysis Geospatial correlation 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Andrew Lawson at the Arnold School of Public Health for reviewing our Bayesian models, and Dr. William Grant from the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center for suggesting the use of the NASA TOMS data and his expertise in atmospheric science.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt John’sCanada
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt John’sCanada

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