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An Australian trial has tested the effectiveness of a vaccine in preventing juvenile diabetes. It was found that the vaccine was effective in at least delaying the onset of juvenile diabetes in those at risk of the disease. Of the children who participated in the trial, the ones who started with poor or no insulin-producing function developed diabetes within 1 or 2 years whereas those who started with some insulin production remained diabetes free for the duration of the five year trial. The more that the onset of diabetes can be delayed by, the lower the risk of complications such as heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and amputation which can dramatically reduce life expectancy. The incidence of diabetes in Australian children under 5 has more than doubled in the past 5 years and the incidence in adults has increased by 37% in the last 10 years. Success of this vaccine may lead to similar prevention techniques for other auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Herald Sun
About: Diabetes vaccine may prevent diabetes in children at risk
Date: 25 November 2004
Source: Herald Sun
Author: Michelle Pountney
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