Children developing type 1 diabetes before 6 years of age have increased linear growth independent of HLA genotypes

Diabetologia. 2008 Sep;51(9):1623-30. doi: 10.1007/s00125-008-1074-0. Epub 2008 Jul 1.


Aims/hypothesis: High birthweight and increased childhood growth are risk factors for type 1 diabetes. Relative birthweight is associated with HLA genotypes that confer a high risk of diabetes. Our aims were to test whether young children prior to clinical onset of type 1 diabetes have increased: (1) birthweight or birth length standard deviation scores (SDS); (2) height development SDS; or (3) BMI SDS during first 18 months of life and whether these parameters are related to HLA genotypes or mid-parental height (MPH).

Methods: Birthweight, birth length, weight and height were obtained from 58 type 1 diabetes children and 155 controls matched for HLA or not in the Diabetes Prediction in Skåne study.

Results: Birth length SDS corrected for MPH was increased in children developing diabetes compared with all (p < 0.048) and with non-HLA- (p < 0.050) but not with HLA-matched controls. Children developing diabetes had increased height gain at 0 to 18 months of age (p < 0.005). Diabetic children were significantly taller from 6 to 18 months of age when correcting for MPH compared with non-HLA-matched as well as HLA-matched controls, but BMI was not increased.

Conclusions/interpretation: Birth length SDS was associated with diabetes risk HLA. When corrected for MPH, children developing diabetes were taller at birth than non-HLA- but not taller than HLA-matched controls. Diabetic children had increased MPH-corrected height up to 18 months of age compared with both HLA- and non-HLA-matched controls. High-risk HLA affects prenatal growth, but other factors may explain the increased postnatal linear growth in children developing diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Body Height
  • Body Size
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Female
  • Genotype*
  • Growth / genetics*
  • Growth / immunology
  • HLA Antigens / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents


  • HLA Antigens