Aim: To study the association between type 1 diabetes and atopic diseases in a twin population.
Methods: We performed record linkage between questionnaire-defined atopic dermatitis, asthma and hay fever, and hospital discharge diagnoses of type 1 diabetes in 54,530 Danish twins, 3-71 years of age.
Results: The age- and sex-adjusted risk of atopic dermatitis was decreased in subjects with type 1 diabetes compared with nondiabetic subjects, (2.1%vs 9.9%), odds ratio (OR)= 0.23 (0.07-0.71), P = 0.011, whereas asthma and hay fever were not significantly associated with type 1 diabetes. Within twin pairs discordant for type 1 diabetes, the diabetic twin had a lower risk of atopic dermatitis relative to the nondiabetic co-twin. Genetic factors for atopic dermatitis and type 1 diabetes were negatively correlated (r = -0.30), P = 0.0009.
Conclusions: These findings substantiate the Th1 vs Th2 cell dichotomy for type 1 diabetes and atopic dermatitis, and indicate an inverse association between genetic factors for these disorders.
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.