Assessing the population impact of low rates of vitamin D supplementation on type 1 diabetes using a new statistical method

JRSM Open. 2016 Nov 1;7(11):2054270416653522. doi: 10.1177/2054270416653522. eCollection 2016 Nov.


Vitamin D supplementation for all children <5 is recommended by the UK Department of Health for its skeletal effects. Vitamin D is also linked with a number of extra-skeletal effects; one of them being protection against type 1 diabetes. With a rapid increase in the incidence of type 1 diabetes and the associated costs, measures of curtailing the rapid increase of type 1 diabetes are needed. In this review, we look at type 1 diabetes using a statistical method (PIN-ER-t) and published data in an attempt to quantify the impact on the population of babies born in 2012 of increasing vitamin D supplementation rates. Calculations show that for the population of 729,674 babies born in England and Wales in 2012, 374 cases of type 1 diabetes (out of 1357 total predicted) could be prevented over 18 years if all were supplemented with vitamin D. This could lead to savings in excess of £62 million for the cohort. This piece of work adds to the argument for studying the potential link between vitamin D supplementation and type 1 diabetes further.

Keywords: other statistics and research methods; paediatrics; public health; vitamins and supplements.