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Diabetologia. 2015 Jun;58(6):1188-97. doi: 10.1007/s00125-015-3555-2. Epub 2015 Apr 14.

Experience of a serious life event increases the risk for childhood type 1 diabetes: the ABIS population-based prospective cohort study.

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Division of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, 581 83, Linköping, Sweden,



The aim of this study was to prospectively investigate whether psychological stress during childhood may be a risk factor for manifest type 1 diabetes.


The All Babies In Southeast Sweden (ABIS) study invited all families with babies born between 1 October 1997 and 30 September 1999 in southeast Sweden to participate. Our study subsample includes 10,495 participants in at least one of the data collections at 2-3, 5-6, 8 and 10-13 years of age not yet diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at inclusion; 58 children were subsequently diagnosed. Age at diagnosis was obtained from the national register SweDiabKids in 2012. Family psychological stress was measured via questionnaires given to the parents assessing serious life events, parenting stress, parental worries and the parent's social support.


Childhood experience of a serious life event was associated with a higher risk of future diagnosis of type 1 diabetes (HR 3.0 [95% CI 1.6, 5.6], p = 0.001) after adjusting for heredity of type 1 diabetes and age at entry into the study. The result was still valid when controlling for heredity of type 2 diabetes, size for gestational age, the parents' education level and whether the mother worked at least 50% of full time before the child's birth (HR 2.8 [95% CI 1.5, 5.4], p = 0.002), and also when childhood BMI was added to the model (HR 5.0 [95% CI 2.3, 10.7], p < 0.001).


This first prospective study concluded that experience of a serious life event in childhood may be a risk factor for manifest type 1 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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