To determine the incidence of type I diabetes in children 0–14 yr of age in Khartoum, Sudan.
Prospective registration of newly diagnosed patients in a hospital-based registry with independent validation of completeness of case ascertainment. Eligible patients were Sudanese children < 15 yr of age, who developed type I diabetes during the period 1 January 1987 through 31 December 1990, and who were living in Khartoum city at the time of diagnosis. The denominator is the stable childhood population of Khartoum city, as estimated by the National Bureau of Statistics.
In 4 yr, 239 cases were notified in the primary source and 268 in the secondary source. Some 196 patients were registered in both sources. Using the capture-recapture method to correct for underascertainment, the estimated total number of cases was 327, and the overall degree of ascertainment was 95%. The incidence of type I diabetes in children 0–14 yr of age increased from 5.9/105) in 1987 to 10.1/105) in 1990 (P < 0.001). Girls exhibited slightly higher incidence rates than boys in the 10–14-yr age-group throughout the 4 yr, but the differences were not statistically significant. The age distribution at onset was bimodal with a clear peak at age 12 yr in girls and age 14 yr in boys and another smaller peak at age 7 yr in both sexes. The number of new cases was markedly higher in the cooler months of the year, with a peak in January and a nadir in June (P < 0.01). This trend was consistent over the period of observation.
Childhood diabetes is increasing in Sudan. Our incidence figures are higher than those reported from other Arab countries and is similar to reports from France and Italy.