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Åke Lernmark

Principal investigator

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Growth and risk for islet autoimmunity and progression to type 1 diabetes in early childhood : The environmental determinants of diabetes in the young study


  • Helena Elding Larsson
  • Kendra Vehik
  • Michael J. Haller
  • Xiang Liu
  • Beena Akolkar
  • William Hagopian
  • Jeffrey Krischer
  • Åke Lernmark
  • Jin Xiong She
  • Olli Simell
  • Jorma Toppari
  • Anette G. Ziegler
  • Marian Rewers

Summary, in English

Increased growth in early childhood has been suggested to increase the risk of type 1 diabetes. This study explored the relationship between weight or height and development of persistent islet autoimmunity and progression to type 1 diabetes during the first 4 years of life in 7,468 children at genetic risk for type 1 diabetes followed in Finland, Germany, Sweden, and the U.S. Growth data collected every third month were used to estimate individual growth curves by mixed models. Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate body size and risk of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes. In the overall cohort, development of islet autoimmunity (n = 575) was related to weight z scores at 12 months (hazard ratio [HR] 1.16 per 1.14 kg in males or per 1.02 kg in females, 95% CI 1.06-1.27, P <0.001, false discovery rate [FDR] = 0.008) but not at 24 or 36 months. A similar relationship was seen between weight z scores and development of multiple islet autoantibodies (1 year: HR 1.21, 95% CI 1.08-1.35, P = 0.001, FDR = 0.008; 2 years: HR 1.18, 95% CI 1.06-1.32, P = 0.004, FDR = 0.02). No association was found between weight or height and type 1 diabetes (n = 169). In conclusion, greater weight in the first years of life was associated with an increased risk of islet autoimmunity.


  • Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund
  • EXODIAB: Excellence in Diabetes Research in Sweden

Publishing year












Document type

Journal article


American Diabetes Association Inc.


  • Endocrinology and Diabetes




  • ISSN: 0012-1797