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Growth and development of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes in children genetically at risk – published online 21/01/2021

Nucci graphical abstract

Anita M. Nucci, Suvi M. Virtanen, David Cuthbertson, Johnny Ludvigsson, Ulle Einberg, Celine Huot, Luis Castano, Bärbel Aschemeier, Dorothy J. Becker, Mikael Knip, Jeffrey P. Krischer, The TRIGR Investigators

Accelerated growth during childhood has been considered as a cause for the increasing incidence of type 1 diabetes, either by initiating or accelerating islet autoimmunity (IA).  However, the relationship between the occurrence of being overweight and obese during childhood and the development of IA and type 1 diabetes is unknown.  In this issue, Nucci, Virtanen et al (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-020-05358-3) examined growth measures annually and over time (up to 10 years of age) and the risk of development of IA and type 1 diabetes in the Trial to Reduce IDDM in the Genetically at Risk (TRIGR) population, who have at least one first-degree relative with type 1 diabetes and carry HLA-conferred susceptibility. The authors reported that the occurrence of being overweight at 2–10 years of age was associated with an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes, but not with the development of IA. This is the first study to examine the relationship between weight status and the development of IA and type 1 diabetes using the standardised definitions of being overweight and obese that guide clinical practice.  The authors state that the findings provide further support for existing recommendations to aid with the prevention and treatment of being overweight in childhood.

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