Asthma and allergic symptoms and type 1 diabetes-related autoantibodies in 2.5-yr-old children

Pediatr Diabetes. 2011 Nov;12(7):604-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5448.2011.00758.x. Epub 2011 Apr 6.


A dominance of Th2 cytokine pattern is associated with allergic diseases, whereas a Th1 pattern has been reported in autoimmune type 1 diabetes (T1D). The Th1/Th2 paradigm has led to the interest in the relationship between these diseases. To investigate the association between atopic diseases, asthma and occurrence of T1D-related β-cell autoantibodies in children, we studied 7208 unselected 2.5-yr-old children from the All Babies in Southeast Sweden (ABIS) cohort. The ABIS cohort includes 17 055 (78.3% out of all 21 700) children born from October 1997 to October 1999, and followed prospectively with regular biological samples and questionnaires, at birth, at 1 and 2.5 yr. Risk factors for development of β-cell autoantibodies at the age of 2.5 yr were type of domiciliary, domestic animals (cat and dog) and getting a new brother/sister during first year of life. Maternal smoking during pregnancy [odds ratio (OR) 1.6] and heavy smoking at home (>10 vs. ≤10 cigarettes) implied risk for tyrosine phosphatase autoantibodies (IA-2A) (OR 2.9). Wheezing during the first year of life implied risk for glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies (GADA) (OR 1.9) and double positivity for GADA and IA-2A (OR 9.1). Rash on several locations (at least three times during 12 months) (OR 1.7) as well as allergic symptoms related to fur-bearing animals (OR 2.7) implied risk for IA-2A. Food allergy against egg, cow-milk, fish, nuts/almonds (one or in combination) implied risk for GADA and IA-2A (OR 4.5). In a regression model wheezing during first year of life remained as a risk factor for GADA [OR 2.0, confidence interval (CI) 1.1-3.8; p = 0.031] and both GADA and IA-2A (OR 10.7, CI 3.9-29.4; p = 0.000). We conclude that allergic symptoms are associated with the development of T1D-related autoantibodies during the first years of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / immunology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden


  • Autoantibodies