Relationship between type 1 diabetes and atopic diseases in a twin population

Allergy. 2011 May;66(5):645-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2010.02517.x. Epub 2010 Dec 1.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal
  • Th1 Cells
  • Th2 Cells
  • Twins
  • Young Adult