World Health Matters: Norway: Weight increase in babies raises diabetes risk

by Gary Finnegan: Infants that gain weight in their first year of life are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes, according to a study of children born in Norway and Denmark.

The research, published in JAMA Pediatrics, examined growth during the first year of life and the risk of childhood-onset type 1 diabetes

The study used information from two Scandinavian study groups of children born between 1998 and 2009, and the analysis was conducted between November 2014 and June 2015. The average age of children at the end of follow-up was 8.6 years in the group of children from Norway and 13 years in the group of children from Denmark.

The study included a total of 99,832 children (59,221 from the Norway study group and 40,611 from the Denmark study group). The incidence of type 1 diabetes from the age of 12 months to the end of follow-up was 25 cases per 100,000 person-years in the group of children from Denmark and 31 cases per 100,000 person-years in the group of children from Norway.

The study, led by Dr Maria C. Magnus of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, found that change in weight from birth to 12 months was associated with the risk for subsequent diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.

The average change in weight from birth to 12 months was just over 13 pounds (6 kilograms). The authors report no significant association between an infant’s increase in length from birth to 12 months and type 1 diabetes.

“Our study is the first prospective population-based study providing evidence that weight increase during the first year of life is positively associated with type 1 diabetes,” the authors concluded. “This supports the early environmental origins of type 1 diabetes.”