Weight increase in infants associated with type 1 diabetes

An infant’s change in weight from birth to 12 months is associated with the risk for diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, according to research in JAMA Pediatrics.

Maria C. Magnus, PhD, of the department of chronic diseases at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, Norway, and colleagues analyzed the change in weight and length from birth to age 12 months from 99,832 children participating in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort study (n = 59,221; 51.2% boys; mean age at end of follow-up, 8.6 years) and the Danish National Birth Cohort (n = 40,611; 50.6% boys, mean age at end of follow-up, 13 years), born between 1998 and 2009. Researchers collected birth weight and length data from birth registers for both studies and calculated HRs for type 1 diabetes based on national childhood diabetes registers using Cox proportional hazard regression models.

The incidence rate for type 1 diabetes in the Danish study was 25 cases per 100,000 person-years and 31 cases per 100,000 person-years in the Norwegian study. Researchers found that the change in weight from birth to age 12 months was positively correlated with the risk for type 1 diabetes in both sexes (adjusted HR = 1.24 per 1 standard deviation increase; 95% CI, 1.09-1.41). Researchers found no significant link between change in length and diabetes risk. Results persisted after excluding children born preterm, children of mothers with diabetes, children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy and children of mothers with celiac disease.

“Our results may be taken as support for the hypothesis that weight gain explains at least some of the long-term temporal changes in incidence of type 1 diabetes,” the researchers wrote. “However, there is limited evidence for changes in infant weight in the short term, in line with a plateau in the incidence of type 1 diabetes.” – by Regina Schaffer

The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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