Objective: This study investigates two-phase growth patterns in early life and their association with development of islet autoimmunity (IA) and type 1 diabetes (T1D).
Research design and methods: The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study followed 7,522 genetically high-risk children in Sweden, Finland, Germany, and the U.S. from birth for a median of 9.0 years (interquartile range 5.7-10.6) with available growth data. Of these, 761 (10.1%) children developed IA and 290 (3.9%) children were diagnosed with T1D. Bayesian two-phase piecewise linear mixed models with a random change point were used to estimate children's individual growth trajectories. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the effects of associated growth parameters on the risks of IA and progression to T1D.
Results: A higher rate of weight gain in infancy was associated with increased IA risk (hazard ratio [HR] 1.09 [95% CI 1.02, 1.17] per 1 kg/year). A height growth pattern with a lower rate in infancy (HR 0.79 [95% CI 0.70, 0.90] per 1 cm/year), higher rate in early childhood (HR 1.48 [95% CI 1.22, 1.79] per 1 cm/year), and younger age at the phase transition (HR 0.76 [95% CI 0.58, 0.99] per 1 month) was associated with increased risk of progression from IA to T1D. A higher rate of weight gain in early childhood was associated with increased risk of progression from IA to T1D (HR 2.57 [95% CI 1.34, 4.91] per 1 kg/year) in children with first-appearing GAD autoantibody only.
Conclusions: Growth patterns in early life better clarify how specific growth phases are associated with the development of T1D.
© 2020 by the American Diabetes Association.