High neonatal blood iron content is associated with the risk of childhood type 1 diabetes mellitus

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(1) Background: Iron requirement increases during pregnancy and iron supplementation is therefore recommended in many countries. However, excessive iron intake may lead to destruction of pancreatic β-cells. Therefore, we aim to test if higher neonatal iron content in blood is associated with the risk of developing type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) in childhood; (2) Methods: A case-control study was conducted, including 199 children diagnosed with T1D before the age of 16 years from 1991 to 2005 and 199 controls matched on date of birth. Information on confounders was available in 181 cases and 154 controls. Iron was measured on a neonatal single dried blood spot sample and was analyzed by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate if iron content in whole blood was associated with the risk of T1D; (3) Results: A doubling of iron content increased the odds of developing T1D more than two-fold (odds ratio (95% CI), 2.55 (1.04; 6.24)). Iron content increased with maternal age (p = 0.04) and girls had higher content than boys (p = 0.01); (4) Conclusions: Higher neonatal iron content associates to an increased risk of developing T1D before the age of 16 years. Iron supplementation during early childhood needs further investigation, including the causes of high iron in neonates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1221
Issue number11
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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