British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Dietary Surveys and Nutritional Epidemiology

Maternal dietary fatty acid intake during pregnancy and the risk of preclinical and clinical type 1 diabetes in the offspring

Sari Niinistöa1a2 c1, Hanna-Mari Takkinena3, Liisa Uusitaloa1, Jenna Rautanena1, Jaakko Nevalainena4, Michael G. Kenwarda5, Mirka Lumiaa1a3, Olli Simella6, Riitta Veijolaa7, Jorma Ilonena8a9, Mikael Knipa10a11a12 and Suvi M. Virtanena1a3a13

a1 Nutrition Unit, Department of Lifestyle and Participation, National Institute for Health and Welfare, PO Box 30, FI-00271 Helsinki, Finland

a2 Hjelt Institute, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

a3 The School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

a4 Statistics/Department of Social Research, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

a5 Medical Statistic Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

a6 Department of Pediatrics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

a7 Department of Pediatrics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

a8 Immunogenetics Laboratory, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

a9 Department of Clinical Microbiology, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

a10 Children's Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

a11 Folkhälsan Research Center, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

a12 Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland

a13 The Science Centre, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to examine the associations between the maternal intake of fatty acids during pregnancy and the risk of preclinical and clinical type 1 diabetes in the offspring. The study included 4887 children with human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-conferred type 1 diabetes susceptibility born during the years 1997–2004 from the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention Study. Maternal diet was assessed with a validated FFQ. The offspring were observed at 3- to 12-month intervals for the appearance of type 1 diabetes-associated autoantibodies and development of clinical type 1 diabetes (average follow-up period: 4·6 years (range 0·5–11·5 years)). Altogether, 240 children developed preclinical type 1 diabetes and 112 children developed clinical type 1 diabetes. Piecewise linear log-hazard survival model and Cox proportional-hazards regression were used for statistical analyses. The maternal intake of palmitic acid (hazard ratio (HR) 0·82, 95 % CI 0·67, 0·99) and high consumption of cheese during pregnancy (highest quarter v. intermediate half HR 0·52, 95 % CI 0·31, 0·87) were associated with a decreased risk of clinical type 1 diabetes. The consumption of sour milk products (HR 1·14, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·28), intake of protein from sour milk (HR 1·15, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·29) and intake of fat from fresh milk (HR 1·43, 95 % CI 1·04, 1·96) were associated with an increased risk of preclinical type 1 diabetes, and the intake of low-fat margarines (HR 0·67, 95 % CI 0·49, 0·92) was associated with a decreased risk. No conclusive associations between maternal fatty acid intake or food consumption during pregnancy and the development of type 1 diabetes in the offspring were detected.

(Received February 03 2012)

(Revised August 08 2013)

(Accepted August 09 2013)

(Online publication October 02 2013)

Key Words:

  • Pregnancy;
  • Fatty acids;
  • Type 1 diabetes;
  • Foods;
  • Children;
  • Cohort studies

Correspondence

c1 Corresponding author: S. Niinistö, email sari.niinisto@thl.fi

Footnotes

  Abbreviations: DIPP, The Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention Study; E%, percentage of total energy intake; ICA, islet cell antibodies

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