Objective: We aimed to study the association of breast-feeding duration and age at the introduction of solid foods with the risk of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes in genetically susceptible children.
Research design and methods: Newborns were recruited from the Norwegian general population during 2001-2007. After genetic screening of nearly 50,000 newborns, 908 children with the high-risk HLA genotype were followed up with blood samples and questionnaires at age 3, 6, 9, and 12 months and then annually. Complete infant diet data were available for 726 children.
Results: Any breast-feeding for 12 months or longer predicted a decreased risk of developing type 1 diabetes compared with any breast-feeding for less than 12 months before and after adjusting for having a first-degree relative with type 1 diabetes, vitamin D supplementation, maternal education, sex, and delivery type (hazard ratio 0.37 [95% CI 0.15-0.93]). Any breast-feeding for 12 months or longer was not associated with islet autoimmunity but predicted a lower risk of progression from islet autoimmunity to type 1 diabetes (hazard ratio 0.35 [95% CI 0.13-0.94]). Duration of full breast-feeding was not significantly associated with the risk of islet autoimmunity or type 1 diabetes nor was age at introduction of solid foods or breast-feeding at the time of introduction of any solid foods.
Conclusions: These results suggest that breast-feeding for 12 months or longer predict a lower risk of progression from islet autoimmunity to type 1 diabetes among genetically predisposed children.
© 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.