We examined the incidence of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) among children aged 0–14 yr in Montreal by social class and by ethnic group from 1971 to 1985. There was a slightly higher risk in wealthier as opposed to poorer classes. This income gradient was more marked in younger than in older children. Children of French extraction had about two-thirds the risk of IDDM of children of other origins, mainly British and other European. This mimics the patterns of risk in Europe, where France is reported to have lower rates than does Britain and Scandinavia. The absolute levels of risks among French Canadian and Jewish Canadian children were about double those reported from France and Israel, respectively. These various results are compatible with the hypothesis that both genetic and environmental factors influence IDDM risk.

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