The overall incidence of autoimmune or type 1A Diabetes in the U.S. and Western Europe is approximately 0.4% in Caucasian families in the first 20 years of life. The figure varies with its geographical distribution, being significantly higher in Finland and lower in Scotland. The incidence is lower in Asian, African American and Hispanic families and also appears to be increasing slowly.
In families where there is already a first degree relative with this form of diabetes, the chances of a future or so far unaffected child developing this condition is about 5%; slightly higher if the father is affected and slightly lower if it is the mother.
In individual cases the risk to a so far unaffected child can be further refined by establishing the HLA distribution on chromosome 6, with special regard to the presence of high risk and protective patterns. To date there are no certain estimates for the impact of environmental factors.
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