University of Oulu

Hakola, L., Vuorinen, AL., Takkinen, HM. et al. Dietary fatty acid intake in childhood and the risk of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes: the DIPP birth cohort study. Eur J Nutr 62, 847–856 (2023).

Dietary fatty acid intake in childhood and the risk of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes : the DIPP birth cohort study

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Author: Hakola, Leena1,2; Vuorinen, Anna-Leena1,2,3; Hanna‑Mari, Hanna‑Mari1,2,4;
Organizations: 1Unit of Health Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
2Research, Development and Innovation Center, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
3VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Tampere, Finland
4Health and Well-Being Promotion Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
5Immunogenetics Laboratory, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
6Institute of Biomedicine, Research Centre for Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology, and Centre for Population Health Research, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
7Department of Pediatrics, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
8PEDEGO Research Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Medical Research Center, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
9Department of Children and Adolescents, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
10Pediatric Research Center, Children’s Hospital, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
11Research Programs Unit, Diabetes and Obesity, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
12Department of Paediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
13Center for Child Health Research, Tampere University and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-01


Purpose: The aim was to study the associations between dietary intake of fatty acids in childhood and the risk of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Methods: The prospective Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP) Study included children with genetic susceptibility to T1D born between 1996 and 2004. Participants were followed up every 3 to 12 months up to 6 years for diet, islet autoantibodies, and T1D. Dietary intake of several fatty acids at the age of 3 months to 6 years was assessed 1–8 times per participant with a 3-day food record. Joint models adjusted for energy intake, sex, HLA genotype and familial diabetes were used to investigate the associations of longitudinal intake of fatty acids and the development of islet autoimmunity and T1D.

Results: During the 6-year follow-up, 247 (4.4%) children of 5626 developed islet autoimmunity and 94 (1.7%) children of 5674 developed T1D. Higher intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (HR 0.63; 95% CI 0.47, 0.82), arachidonic acid (0.69; 0.50, 0.94), total n-3 fatty acids (0.64; 0.48, 0.84), and long-chain n-3 fatty acids (0.14; 0.04, 0.43), was associated with a decreased risk of islet autoimmunity with and without energy adjustment. Higher intake of total fat (0.73; 0.53, 0.98), and saturated fatty acids (0.55; 0.33, 0.90) was associated with a decreased risk of T1D only when energy adjusted.

Conclusion: Intake of several fatty acids was associated with a decreased risk of islet autoimmunity or T1D among high-risk children. Our findings support the idea that dietary factors, including n-3 fatty acids, may play a role in the disease process of T1D.

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Series: European journal of nutrition
ISSN: 1436-6207
ISSN-E: 1436-6215
ISSN-L: 1436-6207
Volume: 62
Issue: 2
Pages: 847 - 856
DOI: 10.1007/s00394-022-03035-2
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: The study has been supported by: Academy of Finland (Grants 63672, 68292, 79685, 79686, 80846, 114666, 126813, 129492, 139391, 201988, 210632, 250114, 276475, 308066, 339922), Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation, European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes, Finnish Diabetes Association, Finnish Diabetes Research Foundation, Juho Vainio Foundation, JDRF (Grants 4-1998-274, 4-1999-731, 4-2001-435, 1-SRA-2016-342-M-R, 1-SRA-2019-732-M-B, and 3-SRA-2020-955-S-B), competitive state research financing of the expert responsibility area of Tampere University Hospital (Grants 9E082, 9F089, 9G087, 9H092, 9J147, 9K149, 9L042, 9L117, 9M036, 9M114, 9N086, 9P057, 9R055, 9S074, 9T072, 9U065, 9V072, 9X062, 9AA084), Oulu University Hospital research funds, Turku University Hospital governmental grants, the European Union (Grant BMH4-CT98-3314), the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and the Sigrid Juselius Foundation.
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