Higher education may increase risk of autoimmune diabetes

Individuals who choose to pursue higher education may be putting themselves at risk for developing a rare form of diabetes, according a recent study from investigators at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

Obviously, researchers told Reuters Health, education in and of itself does not increase the risk of health complications. However, people who attend college may be exposed to different lifestyle or environmental factors that increase their risk.

Their findings, which were published in Diabetes Care, indicate that individuals who attended college were nearly twice as likely to develop autoimmune diabetes as adults than individuals who only completed high school. The condition is rare, and is similar to type 1 diabetes.

Unlike type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diabetes cannot be explained by traditional risk factors like obesity, lack of physical activity or smoking.

"Since the association is not explained by traditional risk factors, other, currently unidentified, environmental factors are likely to be involved," the researchers wrote in their report.
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