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Åke Lernmark

Principal investigator

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Relationship between increased relative birthweight and infections during pregnancy in children with a high-risk diabetes HLA genotype.


  • Helena Larsson
  • Kristian Lynch
  • Barbro Lernmark
  • Gertie Hansson
  • Åke Lernmark
  • Sten Ivarsson
  • Annelie Carlsson

Summary, in English

Aims/hypothesis Children with high-risk type 1 diabetes HLA genotype have increased risk of high relative birthweight (HrBW), while cord blood islet autoantibodies decrease the risk. As gestational infections may affect offspring type 1 diabetes risk, the aims were to test whether: (1) children of mothers reporting gestational infections have increased HrBW; (2) gestational infections explain islet autoantibody reduction of HrBW; and (3) gestational infections affect the association between HLA and HrBW. Subjects and methods HLA genotypes and autoantibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase, insulinoma-associated protein 2 and insulin were determined in cord blood of children born to non-diabetic mothers in the Diabetes Prediction in Skane (DiPiS) study. Mothers reported gestational infections when the child was 2 months old. Results Fever or gastroenteritis during pregnancy was reported by 2,848/19,756 mothers (14%); 339 in more than one trimester. Children whose mothers reported infections had increased risk of HrBW (p=0.0003), particularly in the absence of cord blood islet autoantibodies (interaction between HrBW, islet autoantibodies and infections, p=0.0005). The effect on HrBW by high-risk HLA-DQ2/8 was aggravated by infections in more than one trimester (odds ratio [OR]=5.24; p=0.003) (interaction; p=0.022). When infections were reported, cord blood islet autoantibodies decreased HrBW (OR=0.34; p=0.0002). Conclusions/intrepretation This study revealed that: (1) gestational fever, gastroenteritis, or both, increased the risk of HrBW; (2) cord blood islet autoantibodies decreased the risk of HrBW only in combination with infections; and (3) infections aggravated the association between HLA-DQ2/8 and HrBW. These data suggest an interaction between HLA, gestational infections, islet autoantibodies and fetal growth.


  • Paediatric Endocrinology
  • Diabetes and Celiac Unit
  • Paediatrics (Lund)
  • PediatricCeliaki/Diabetes

Publishing year












Document type

Journal article




  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • IA-2 autoantibodies
  • gestational
  • infections
  • HLA
  • GAD65 autoantibodies
  • gastroenteritis
  • birthweight
  • fever
  • type 1 diabetes
  • islet autoantibodies
  • autoantibodies
  • insulin



Research group

  • Paediatric Endocrinology
  • Diabetes and Celiac Unit
  • PediatricCeliaki/Diabetes


  • ISSN: 1432-0428