AIMS/INTRODUCTION: To study the epidemiology, genetic landscape and causes of childhood diabetes mellitus in the State of Qatar.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: All patients (aged 0-18 years) with diabetes mellitus underwent biochemical, immunological and genetic testing. American Diabetes Association guidelines were used to classify types of diabetes mellitus. The incidence and prevalence of all the different types of diabetes mellitus were calculated.
RESULTS: Total number of children with diabetes mellitus was 1,325 (type 1 n = 1,096, ≥1 antibody; type 2 n = 104, type 1B n = 53; maturity onset diabetes of the young n = 20; monogenic autoimmune n = 4; neonatal diabetes mellitus n = 10;, syndromic diabetes mellitus n = 23; and double diabetes mellitus n = 15). The incidence and prevalence of type 1 diabetes were 38.05 and 249.73 per 100,000, respectively, and for type 2 were 2.51 and 23.7 per 100,000, respectively. The incidence of neonatal diabetes mellitus was 34.4 per 1,000,000 live births, and in indigenous Qataris the incidence was 43.6 per 1,000,000 live births. The prevalence of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes in Qatari children was double compared with other nationalities. The prevalence of maturity onset diabetes of the young in Qatar was 4.56 per 100,000.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first prospective and comprehensive study to document the epidemiology and genetic landscape of childhood diabetes mellitus in this region. Qatar has the fourth highest incidence of type 1 diabetes mellitus, with the incidence and prevalence being higher in Qatari compared with non-Qatari. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus is also higher in Qatar than in Western countries. The incidence of neonatal diabetes mellitus is the second highest in the world. GCK is the most common form of maturity onset diabetes of the young, and a large number of patients have type 1B diabetes mellitus.