University of Oulu

Mattila, M.; Hakola, L.; Niinistö, S.; Tapanainen, H.; Takkinen, H.-M.; Ahonen, S.; Ilonen, J.; Toppari, J.; Veijola, R.; Knip, M.; Virtanen, S.M. Maternal Vitamin C and Iron Intake during Pregnancy and the Risk of Islet Autoimmunity and Type 1 Diabetes in Children: A Birth Cohort Study. Nutrients 2021, 13, 928.

Maternal vitamin C and iron intake during pregnancy and the risk of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes in children : a birth cohort study

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Author: Mattila, Markus1,2,3; Hakola, Leena1,2; Niinistö, Sari3;
Organizations: 1Unit of Health Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland
2Research, Development and Innovation Center, Tampere University Hospital, P.O. Box 2000, FI-33521 Tampere, Finland
3Health and Well-Being Promotion Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, P.O. Box 30, FI-00271 Helsinki, Finland
4Population Health Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, P.O. Box 30, FI-00271 Helsinki, Finland
5Immunogenetics Laboratory, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, FI-20014 Turku, Finland
6Research Centre for Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, FI-20520 Turku, Finland
7PEDEGO Research Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Medical Research Center, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
8Department of Children and Adolescents, Oulu University Hospital, P.O. Box 10, FI-90029 Oulu, Finland
9Pediatric Research Center, Children’s Hospital, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, FI-00029 Helsinki, Finland
10Folkhälsan Research Center, FI-00251 Helsinki, Finland
11Research Program for Clinical and Molecular Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
12Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, FI-33521 Tampere, Finland
13Center for Child Health Research, Tampere University and Tampere University Hospital, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-05-18


Our aim was to study the associations between maternal vitamin C and iron intake during pregnancy and the offspring’s risk of developing islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes. The study was a part of the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP) prospective birth cohort including children genetically at risk of type 1 diabetes born between 1997–2004. The diets of 4879 mothers in late pregnancy were assessed with a validated food frequency questionnaire. The outcomes were islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis adjusted for energy, family history of diabetes, human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotype and sex was used for statistical analyses. Total intake of vitamin C or iron from food and supplements was not associated with the risk of islet autoimmunity (vitamin C: HR 0.91: 95% CI (0.80, 1.03), iron: 0.98 (0.87, 1.10)) or type 1 diabetes (vitamin C: 1.01 (0.87, 1.17), iron: 0.92 (0.78, 1.08)), neither was the use of vitamin C or iron supplements associated with the outcomes. In conclusion, no association was found between maternal vitamin C or iron intake during pregnancy and the risk of islet autoimmunity or type 1 diabetes in the offspring.

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Series: Nutrients
ISSN: 2072-6643
ISSN-E: 2072-6643
ISSN-L: 2072-6643
Volume: 13
Issue: 3
Article number: 928
DOI: 10.3390/nu13030928
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: Supported by the EFSD/JDRF/Lilly European Programme in Type 1 Diabetes Research; Doctoral Programs in Public Health; the Academy of Finland (grants 63672, 79685, 79686, 80846, 126813, 201988, 210632, 276475); Competitive Research Funding of the Turku and Oulu University Hospitals; the Competitive State Research Financing of the Expert Responsibility area of Tampere University Hospital (grants 9E082, 9F089, 9G087, 9H092, 9J147, 9K149, 9L117, 9M114, 9N086, 9P057, 9R055, 9S074, 9U065, 9V072, 9X062); the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (grants 197032, 4-1998-274, 4-1999-731, and 4-2001-435); the Novo Nordisk Foundation; the European Union Biomed 2 Program (BMH4-CT98-3314); Doctoral Programme in Health Sciences, Tampere University and The Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (