Height growth velocity, islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes development: the Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young

Diabetologia. 2009 Oct;52(10):2064-71. doi: 10.1007/s00125-009-1428-2. Epub 2009 Jun 23.


Aims/hypothesis: Larger childhood body size and rapid growth have been associated with increased type 1 diabetes risk. We analysed height, weight, BMI and velocities of growth in height, weight and BMI, for association with development of islet autoimmunity (IA) and type 1 diabetes.

Methods: Since 1993, the Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young (DAISY) has followed children at increased type 1 diabetes risk, based on HLA-DR, -DQ genotype or family history, for the development of IA and type 1 diabetes. IA was defined as the presence of autoantibodies to insulin, GAD or protein tyrosine phosphatase islet antigen 2 twice in succession, or autoantibody-positive on one visit and diabetic at the next consecutive visit within 1 year. Type 1 diabetes was diagnosed by a physician. Height and weight were collected starting at age 2 years. Of 1,714 DAISY children <11.5 years of age, 143 developed IA and 21 progressed to type 1 diabetes. We conducted Cox proportional hazards analysis to explore growth velocities and size measures for association with IA and type 1 diabetes development.

Results: Greater height growth velocity was associated with IA development (HR 1.63, 95% CI 1.31-2.05) and type 1 diabetes development (HR 3.34, 95% CI 1.73-6.42) for a 1 SD difference in velocity.

Conclusions/interpretation: Our study suggests that greater height growth velocity may be involved in the progression from genetic susceptibility to autoimmunity and then to type 1 diabetes in pre-pubertal children.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Autoimmunity / immunology*
  • Body Height / immunology*
  • Body Height / physiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • Humans
  • Insulin / immunology
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology*
  • Male
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Sex Factors


  • Autoantibodies
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Insulin