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Keywords:

  • asthma;
  • allergy;
  • GADA;
  • IA-2A;
  • T1D

Wahlberg J, Vaarala O, Ludvigsson J, for the ABIS Study Group. Asthma and allergic symptoms and type 1 diabetes-related autoantibodies in 2.5-yr-old children.

A dominance of Th2 cytokine pattern is associated with allergic diseases, whereas a Th1 pattern has been reported in autoimmune type 1 diabetes (T1D). The Th1/Th2 paradigm has led to the interest in the relationship between these diseases. To investigate the association between atopic diseases, asthma and occurrence of T1D-related β-cell autoantibodies in children, we studied 7208 unselected 2.5-yr-old children from the All Babies in Southeast Sweden (ABIS) cohort. The ABIS cohort includes 17 055 (78.3% out of all 21 700) children born from October 1997 to October 1999, and followed prospectively with regular biological samples and questionnaires, at birth, at 1 and 2.5 yr. Risk factors for development of β-cell autoantibodies at the age of 2.5 yr were type of domiciliary, domestic animals (cat and dog) and getting a new brother/sister during first year of life. Maternal smoking during pregnancy [odds ratio (OR) 1.6] and heavy smoking at home (>10 vs. ≤10 cigarettes) implied risk for tyrosine phosphatase autoantibodies (IA-2A) (OR 2.9). Wheezing during the first year of life implied risk for glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies (GADA) (OR 1.9) and double positivity for GADA and IA-2A (OR 9.1). Rash on several locations (at least three times during 12 months) (OR 1.7) as well as allergic symptoms related to fur-bearing animals (OR 2.7) implied risk for IA-2A. Food allergy against egg, cow-milk, fish, nuts/almonds (one or in combination) implied risk for GADA and IA-2A (OR 4.5). In a regression model wheezing during first year of life remained as a risk factor for GADA [OR 2.0, confidence interval (CI) 1.1–3.8; p = 0.031] and both GADA and IA-2A (OR 10.7, CI 3.9–29.4; p = 0.000). We conclude that allergic symptoms are associated with the development of T1D-related autoantibodies during the first years of life.