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Maternal and Early Life Iron Intake and Risk of Childhood Type 1 Diabetes: A Danish Case-Cohort Study

Thorsen, Steffen Ullitz, Halldorsson, Thorhallur I., Bjerregaard, Anne A., Olsen, Sjurdur F., Svensson, Jannet
Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.4
childhood, children, droplets, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, iron, iron overload, nutrition risk assessment, pregnancy, primary contact, prospective studies, regression analysis
Background: Iron overload has been associated with diabetes. Studies on iron exposure during pregnancy and in early life and risk of childhood type 1 diabetes (T1D) are sparse. We investigated whether iron supplementation during pregnancy and early in life were associated with risk of childhood T1D. Methods: In a case-cohort design, we identified up to 257 children with T1D (prevalence 0.37%) from the Danish National Birth Cohort through linkage with the Danish Childhood Diabetes Register. The primary exposure was maternal pure iron supplementation (yes/no) during pregnancy as reported in interview two at 30 weeks of gestation (n = 68,497 with iron supplement data). We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) using weighted Cox regression adjusting for multiple confounders. We also examined if offspring supplementation during the first 18 months of life was associated with later risk of T1D. Results: Maternal iron supplementation was not associated with later risk of T1D in the offspring HR 1.05 (95% CI: 0.76&ndash;1.45). Offspring intake of iron droplets during the first 18 months of life was inversely associated with risk of T1D HR 0.74 (95% CI: 0.55&ndash;1.00) (p<inf>trend</inf> = 0.03). Conclusions: Our large-scale prospective study demonstrated no harmful effects of iron supplementation during pregnancy and in early life in regard to later risk of childhood T1D in the offspring.