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Diabet Med. 2008 Sep;25(9):1056-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2008.02525.x.

Childhood body mass index (BMI), breastfeeding and risk of Type 1 diabetes: findings from a longitudinal national birth cohort.

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1
Children and Young People's Diabetes Service, University College London, London, UK. R.Viner@ich.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

AIMS:

To perform a longitudinal analysis of the association between childhood body mass index (BMI) and later risk of Type 1 diabetes, controlling for socio-economic status, birthweight, height in early and late childhood, breastfeeding history and pubertal status.

METHODS:

Analysis of the 1970 British Birth Cohort, followed up at age 5, 10 and 30 years (n = 11,261). Data were available on birthweight, breastfeeding; height, weight, pubertal status, socio-economic status at age 10 years; self-report data on history of diabetes (type, age at onset) at age 30 years. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine relations of childhood growth, socio-economic status and breastfeeding history to the incidence of Type 1 diabetes between 10 and 30 years of age.

RESULTS:

Sixty-one subjects (0.5%) reported Type 1 diabetes at 30 years of age; 47 (77%) reported onset >or= age 10 years. Higher BMI z-score at 10 years predicted higher risk of subsequent Type 1 diabetes (hazard ratio 1.8, 95% confidence interval 1.2 to 2.8, P = 0.01) when adjusted for birthweight, pubertal status, breastfeeding history and socio-economic status. Repeating the model for childhood obesity, the hazard ratio was 3.1 (1.0, 9.3; P = 0.05). Birthweight, breastfeeding, height growth and pubertal timing were not associated with incidence of Type 1 diabetes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Higher BMI in childhood independently increased the risk of later Type 1 diabetes, supporting suggestions that obesity may provide a link between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. This supports observations of a rise in Type 1 diabetes prevalence. Reduction in childhood obesity may reduce the incidence of Type 1 as well as Type 2 diabetes.

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