This article describes the epidemiology of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) around the world and across the lifespan. Epidemiologic patterns of T1D by demographic, geographic, biologic, cultural, and other factors in populations are presented to gain insight about the causes, natural history, risks, and complications of T1D. Data from large epidemiologic studies worldwide indicate that the incidence of T1D has been increasing by 2% to 5% worldwide and that the prevalence of T1D is approximately 1 in 300 in the United States by 18 years of age. Research on risk factors for T1D is an active area of research to identify genetic and environmental triggers that could potentially be targeted for intervention. Although significant advances have been made in the clinical care of T1D with resultant improvements in quality of life and clinical outcomes, much more needs to be done to improve care of, and ultimately find a cure for, T1D. Epidemiologic studies have an important ongoing role to investigate the complex causes, clinical care, prevention, and cure of T1D.
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