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Diabetologia. 2009 Oct;52(10):2064-71. doi: 10.1007/s00125-009-1428-2. Epub 2009 Jun 23.

Height growth velocity, islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes development: the Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young.

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  • 1University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, 80045, USA.



Larger childhood body size and rapid growth have been associated with increased type 1 diabetes risk. We analysed height, weight, BMI and velocities of growth in height, weight and BMI, for association with development of islet autoimmunity (IA) and type 1 diabetes.


Since 1993, the Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young (DAISY) has followed children at increased type 1 diabetes risk, based on HLA-DR, -DQ genotype or family history, for the development of IA and type 1 diabetes. IA was defined as the presence of autoantibodies to insulin, GAD or protein tyrosine phosphatase islet antigen 2 twice in succession, or autoantibody-positive on one visit and diabetic at the next consecutive visit within 1 year. Type 1 diabetes was diagnosed by a physician. Height and weight were collected starting at age 2 years. Of 1,714 DAISY children <11.5 years of age, 143 developed IA and 21 progressed to type 1 diabetes. We conducted Cox proportional hazards analysis to explore growth velocities and size measures for association with IA and type 1 diabetes development.


Greater height growth velocity was associated with IA development (HR 1.63, 95% CI 1.31-2.05) and type 1 diabetes development (HR 3.34, 95% CI 1.73-6.42) for a 1 SD difference in velocity.


Our study suggests that greater height growth velocity may be involved in the progression from genetic susceptibility to autoimmunity and then to type 1 diabetes in pre-pubertal children.

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