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Environmental Traits, Mom’s Obesity Tied to Type 1 Diabetes

Last Updated: August 03, 2010.

Consistent with the hygiene and overload hypotheses, environmental factors associated with less antigenic exposure in early life and maternal obesity may be associated with risk for type 1 diabetes, according to a study published in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Consistent with the hygiene and overload hypotheses, environmental factors associated with less antigenic exposure in early life and maternal obesity may be associated with risk for type 1 diabetes, according to a study published in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Marisa A. D'Angeli, M.D., of the Washington State Department of Health in Shoreline, and colleagues linked hospital discharge data and birth certificates of all children under 19 hospitalized for type 1 diabetes from 1987 to 2005 (1,852 subjects), matched with 7,408 controls. They assessed for maternal and infant characteristics and diabetes risk, particularly characteristics possibly pertaining to the hygiene or overload hypotheses.

The researchers found a negative association for type 1 diabetes in children with older siblings (odds ratio [OR], 0.56), lower economic status or care access (OR, 0.79), sub-par prenatal care (OR, 0.53), or Medicaid insurance (OR, 0.67). These findings were consistent with the hygiene hypothesis. Consistent with the overload hypothesis, an increased risk of type 1 diabetes was associated with mothers having a body mass index of 30 kg/m² or more (OR, 1.29).

"Environmental factors related to decreased antigenic stimulation in early life and maternal obesity may be associated with type 1 diabetes," the authors write.

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