Infection with H1N1 influenza, also known as swine flu, has been linked to the development of autoimmune disorders.
In a study presented at a recent conference, researchers from Norway used national registry data to explore if the virus could also be linked to the development of type 1 diabetes
From June 2009 to June 2014, of the 76,173 participants who were diagnosed with pandemic influenza, 2,376 people were also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Results showed that people with laboratory-confirmed H1N1 or those hospitalised with flu during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic were twice as likely to develop type 1 diabetes as the general population. In contrast, those diagnosed with influenza in primary care during the pandemic were not at a significantly increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
The researchers said the results provided further evidence that respiratory infections contribute to the development of type 1 diabetes because of stress and inflammation in predisposed individuals.
 Ruiz P, Tapia G, Bakken I et al. Pandemic influenza diagnosis and subsequent risk of type 1 diabetes. Presented at: European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) annual meeting; 11–15 September 2017; Lisbon, Portugal.