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  • Syrjälä, Essi; Nevalainen, Jaakko; Peltonen, Jaakko; Takkinen, Hanna-Mari; Hakola, Leena; Åkerlund, Mari; Veijola, Riitta; Ilonen, Jorma; Toppari, Jorma; Knip, Mikael; Virtanen, Suvi M. (2019)
    Several dietary factors have been suspected to play a role in the development of advanced islet autoimmunity (IA) and/or type 1 diabetes (T1D), but the evidence is fragmentary. A prospective population-based cohort of 6081 Finnish newborn infants with HLA-DQB1-conferred susceptibility to T1D was followed up to 15 years of age. Diabetes-associated autoantibodies and diet were assessed at 3-to 12-month intervals. We aimed to study the association between consumption of selected foods and the development of advanced IA longitudinally with Cox regression models (CRM), basic joint models (JM) and joint latent class mixed models (JLCMM). The associations of these foods to T1D risk were also studied to investigate consistency between alternative endpoints. The JM showed a marginal association between meat consumption and advanced IA: the hazard ratio adjusted for selected confounding factors was 1.06 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.12). The JLCMM identified two classes in the consumption trajectories of fish and a marginal protective association for high consumers compared to low consumers: the adjusted hazard ratio was 0.68 (0.44, 1.05). Similar findings were obtained for T1D risk with adjusted hazard ratios of 1.13 (1.02, 1.24) for meat and 0.45 (0.23, 0.86) for fish consumption. Estimates from the CRMs were closer to unity and CIs were narrower compared to the JMs. Findings indicate that intake of meat might be directly and fish inversely associated with the development of advanced IA and T1D, and that disease hazards in longitudinal nutritional epidemiology are more appropriately modeled by joint models than with naive approaches.
  • Prasad, Marianne; Takkinen, Hanna-Mari; Uusitalo, Liisa; Tapanainen, Heli; Ovaskainen, Marja-Leena; Alfthan, Georg; Erlund, Iris; Ahonen, Suvi; Åkerlund, Mari; Toppari, Jorma; Ilonen, Jorma; Knip, Mikael; Veijola, Riitta; Virtanen, Suvi M. (2018)
    Fruit and vegetable intake has been associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases. These foods are the main dietary source of carotenoids. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the associations between dietary intake and serum concentrations of alpha- and beta-carotene in a sample of young Finnish children from the population-based birth cohort of the Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP) Study. The current analysis comprised 3-day food records and serum samples from 207 children aged 1, 2 and 3 years. Spearman and partial correlations, as well as a cross-classification analyses, were used to assess the relationship between dietary intake and the corresponding biomarkers. Serum concentrations of alpha- and beta-carotene were significantly higher among the 1-year-old compared to the 3-year-old children. Dietary intakes of alpha- and beta-carotene correlated significantly with their respective serum concentrations in all age groups, the association being highest at the age of 1 year (alpha-carotene r = 0.48; p <0.001 and beta-carotene r = 0.47; p <0.001), and lowest at the age of 3 years (alpha-carotene r = 0.44; p <0.001 and beta-carotene r = 0.30; p <0.001). A cross-classification showed that 72-81% of the participants were correctly classified to the same or adjacent quartile, when comparing the reported dietary intakes and the concentrations of the corresponding carotenoid in serum. The 3-day food record seems to be reasonably valid in the assessment of root vegetable consumption among young Finnish children. Root vegetables were the main dietary source of both carotenoids in all age groups. The high consumption of commercial baby foods among the 1-year-old children was reflected in the relatively high dietary intake and serum concentration of both carotenoids.
  • Knip, Mikael; Luopajarvi, Kristiina; Harkonen, Taina (2017)
    Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is perceived as a chronic immune-mediated disease with a subclinical prodromal period characterized by selective loss of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreatic islets in genetically susceptible subjects. The incidence of T1D has increased manifold in most developed countries after World War II in parallel with a series of other immune-mediated diseases. T1D results from gene-environmental interactions. The appearance of disease-associated autoantibodies into the peripheral circulation is the first detectable sign of the initiation of the disease process leading to clinical T1D. The first autoantibodies may appear already before the age of 6 months and the seroconversion rate peaks during the second year of life. This implies that exogenous factors involved in the pathogenesis of T1D must be operative in early life, some of them most likely already during pregnancy. Here, we discuss putative endogenous factors that may contribute to the development of T1D during fetal and early postnatal life. Many environmental factors operative in early life have been implicated in the pathogenesis of T1D, but relatively few have been firmly confirmed.
  • Niinisto, Sari; Takkinen, Hanna-Mari; Erlund, Iris; Ahonen, Suvi; Toppari, Jorma; Ilonen, Jorma; Veijola, Riitta; Knip, Mikael; Vaarala, Outi; Virtanen, Suvi M. (2017)
    Aims/hypothesis We investigated the association of early serum fatty acid composition with the risk of type 1 diabetes-associated autoimmunity. Our hypothesis was that fatty acid status during infancy is related to type 1 diabetes-associated autoimmunity and that long-chain n-3 fatty acids, in particular, are associated with decreased risk. Methods We performed a nested case-control analysis within the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention Study birth cohort, carrying HLA-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes (n = 7782). Serum total fatty acid composition was analysed by gas chromatography in 240 infants with islet autoimmunity and 480 control infants at the age of 3 and 6 months. Islet autoimmunity was defined as repeated positivity for islet cell autoantibodies in combination with at least one of three selected autoantibodies. In addition, a subset of 43 infants with primary insulin autoimmunity (i.e. those with insulin autoantibodies as the first autoantibody with no concomitant other autoantibodies) and a control group (n = 86) were analysed. A third endpoint was primary GAD autoimmunity defined as GAD autoantibody appearing as the first antibody without other concomitant autoantibodies (22 infants with GAD autoimmunity; 42 infants in control group). Conditional logistic regression was applied, considering multiple comparisons by false discovery rate <0.05. Results Serum fatty acid composition differed between breastfed and non-breastfed infants, reflecting differences in the fatty acid composition of the milk. Fatty acids were associated with islet autoimmunity (higher serum pentadecanoic, palmitic, palmitoleic and docosahexaenoic acids decreased risk; higher arachidonic: docosahexaenoic and n-6: n-3 acid ratios increased risk). Furthermore, fatty acids were associated with primary insulin autoimmunity, these associations being stronger (higher palmitoleic acid, cis-vaccenic, arachidonic, docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids decreased risk; higher a-linoleic acid and arachidonic: docosahexaenoic and n-6: n-3 acid ratios increased risk). Moreover, the quantity of breast milk consumed per day was inversely associated with primary insulin autoimmunity, while the quantity of cow's milk consumed per day was directly associated. Conclusions/interpretation Fatty acid status may play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes-associated autoimmunity. Fish-derived fatty acids may be protective, particularly during infancy. Furthermore, fatty acids consumed during breastfeeding may provide protection against type 1 diabetes-associated autoimmunity. Further studies are warranted to clarify the independent role of fatty acids in the development of type 1 diabetes.