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Pediatr Diabetes. 2018 Mar;19(2):265-270. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12568. Epub 2017 Sep 22.

Childhood body mass index in relation to subsequent risk of type 1 diabetes-A Danish cohort study.

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The Bartholin Institute, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Department of Pediatrics, Hans Christian Andersen Children's hospital, Odense, Denmark.
Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospitals, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Department of Paediatrics, Skejby Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Paediatrics, Herlev University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark.
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research and Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The incidence of type 1 diabetes (T1D) is increasing, and obesity may be a contributing factor by increasing the risk and accelerating the onset. We investigated the relation between childhood body mass index z-scores (BMIz) and the later risk of T1D, including association with age at onset of T1D. The study included 238 cases and 10 147 controls selected from the Copenhagen School Health Record Register (CSHRR). Cases of T1D were identified in the Danish Registry of Childhood and Adolescent Diabetes and 2 regional studies and linked to CSHRR. Using conditional logistic regression models, the association of childhood prediagnostic BMIz at 7 and 13 years of age and changes between these ages with subsequent risk (odds ratio, OR) of T1D was estimated. A greater BMIz at 7 and 13 years of age was associated with increased risk of T1D with OR of 1.23 (confidence interval, CI 1.09-1.37; P = .0001) and 1.20 (CI 1.04-1.40; P = .016), respectively. The risk was increased by upward changes in z-scores from birth to 7 years (OR=1.21, P = .003) and from 7 to 13 years of age (OR=1.95, P = .023), but in the latter age interval also by a decline in BMIz (OR = 1.91, P = .034). There were no associations between BMIz at 7 and 13 years of age and the age of onset (P = .34 and P = .42, respectively). Increased BMIz is associated with a moderate increase in risk of T1D, but with no relation to age at onset within the analyzed age range. Increased BMIz over time is unlikely to explain the rising incidence of T1D.


BMI; accelerator hypothesis; children; incidence; type 1 diabetes

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