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Keywords:

  • Atopic dermatitis;
  • genetic;
  • twin study;
  • type 1 diabetes

To cite this article: Thomsen SF, Duffy DL, Kyvik KO, Skytthe A, Backer V. Relationship between type 1 diabetes and atopic diseases in a twin population. Allergy 2011; 66: 645–647.

Abstract

Aim:  To study the association between type 1 diabetes and atopic diseases in a twin population.

Methods:  We performed record linkage between questionnaire-defined atopic dermatitis, asthma and hay fever, and hospital discharge diagnoses of type 1 diabetes in 54 530 Danish twins, 3–71 years of age.

Results:  The age- and sex-adjusted risk of atopic dermatitis was decreased in subjects with type 1 diabetes compared with nondiabetic subjects, (2.1%vs 9.9%), odds ratio (OR) = 0.23 (0.07–0.71), P = 0.011, whereas asthma and hay fever were not significantly associated with type 1 diabetes. Within twin pairs discordant for type 1 diabetes, the diabetic twin had a lower risk of atopic dermatitis relative to the nondiabetic co-twin. Genetic factors for atopic dermatitis and type 1 diabetes were negatively correlated (r = −0.30), P = 0.0009.

Conclusions:  These findings substantiate the Th1 vs Th2 cell dichotomy for type 1 diabetes and atopic dermatitis, and indicate an inverse association between genetic factors for these disorders.