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Carin Andrén Aronsson

Head of unit

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Age at first introduction to complementary foods is associated with sociodemographic factors in children with increased genetic risk of developing type 1 diabetes.


  • Carin Andrén Aronsson
  • Ulla Uusitalo
  • Kendra Vehik
  • Jimin Yang
  • Katherine Silvis
  • Sandra Hummel
  • Suvi M Virtanen
  • Jill M Norris

Summary, in English

Infant's age at introduction to certain complementary foods (CF) has in previous studies been associated with islet autoimmunity, which is an early marker for type 1 diabetes (T1D). Various maternal sociodemographic factors have been found to be associated with early introduction to CF. The aims of this study were to describe early infant feeding and identify sociodemographic factors associated with early introduction to CF in a multinational cohort of infants with an increased genetic risk for T1D. The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young study is a prospective longitudinal birth cohort study. Infants (N = 6404) screened for T1D high risk human leucocyte antigen-DQ genotypes (DR3/4, DR4/4, DR4/8, DR3/3, DR4/4, DR4/1, DR4/13, DR4/9 and DR3/9) were followed for 2 years at six clinical research centres: three in the United States (Colorado, Georgia/Florida, Washington) and three in Europe (Sweden, Finland, Germany). Age at first introduction to any food was reported at clinical visits every third month from the age of 3 months. Maternal sociodemographic data were self-reported through questionnaires. Age at first introduction to CF was primarily associated with country of residence. Root vegetables and fruits were usually the first CF introduced in Finland and Sweden and cereals were usually the first CF introduced in the United States. Between 15% and 20% of the infants were introduced to solid foods before the age of 4 months. Young maternal age (<25 years), low educational level (<12 years) and smoking during pregnancy were significant predictors of early introduction to CF in this cohort. Infants with a relative with T1D were more likely to be introduced to CF later.


  • Celiac Disease and Diabetes Unit

Publishing year







Maternal and Child Nutrition





Document type

Journal article




  • Nutrition and Dietetics



Research group

  • Diabetes and Celiac Unit


  • ISSN: 1740-8709