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Higher Education Linked with Diabetes

Recent studies reveal that people who pursue higher education are at a greater risk of developing a rare form of diabetes associated with autoimmunity.

The research showed that after testing 56,000 adults in Norway, those who went to college proved to be twice as likely to develop autoimmune diabetes, an adult form of diabetes very similar to type 1 diabetes.

Lisa Olsson of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden said that it is not going to college or higher education per se that leads to autoimmune diabetes. Rather, this disease is developed by the lifestyle of those who attend the universities, or it could have been caused by other factors in their lives. “Subjects with high education may have a different lifestyle (or) be exposed to other environmental factors than people with low education, which may increase their risk,” said Olsson.

A possible cause of this is that people who go to universities may have fewer infections as a child, which is believed to predispose children to type 1 diabetes. However, despite these surprising data, the chance of developing autoimmune diabetes is comparatively low, with only 122 out of 1,500 patients being diagnosed with this condition. Other risk factors, such as obesity, smoking and a family history of diabetes were taken into consideration during the research.

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