Weight Gain in First Year of Life Linked to Type 1 Diabetes

Weight gain during the first year of an infant's life is linked to an increased risk for type 1 diabetes, according to a new study.

The research, conducted on children born in Norway and Denmark, examined how growth during the first year could induce childhood-onset type 1 diabetes - which is the most common chronic disease that develops during youth.

Thus far, researchers have not been able to identify a single environmental factor that is linked to increased risk for the condition.

A problem of extra pounds?

The study included 99,832 children who were tracked through the first year of life and beyond. Researchers concluded that an increase in weight from birth to 12 months was linked to type 1 diabetes - with the average change in weight being just over 13 pounds in the first year of life. A baby's length, the authors report, did not appear to be associated with diabetes risk.

According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, only about 10 percent of the time is there a family history of type 1 diabetes in children who develop the condition.

"In conclusion, our study is the first prospective population-based study, to our knowledge, providing evidence that weight increase during the first year of life is positively associated with type 1 diabetes," the authors wrote.

The study is published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Source: The JAMA Network Journals

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