Children’s erythrocyte fatty acids are associated with the risk of islet autoimmunity

Sari Niinistö, Iris Erlund, Hye Seung Lee, Ulla Uusitalo, Irma Salminen, Carin Andrén Aronsson, Hemang M. Parikh, Xiang Liu, Sandra Hummel, Jorma Toppari, Jin Xiong She, Åke Lernmark, Annette G. Ziegler, Marian Rewers, Beena Akolkar, Jeffrey P. Krischer, David Galas, Siba Das, Nikita Sakhanenko, Stephen S. RichWilliam Hagopian, Jill M. Norris, Suvi M. Virtanen, The TEDDY Study Group.

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Our aim was to investigate the associations between erythrocyte fatty acids and the risk of islet autoimmunity in children. The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young Study (TEDDY) is a longitudinal cohort study of children at high genetic risk for type 1 diabetes (n = 8676) born between 2004 and 2010 in the U.S., Finland, Sweden, and Germany. A nested case–control design comprised 398 cases with islet autoimmunity and 1178 sero-negative controls matched for clinical site, family history, and gender. Fatty acids composition was measured in erythrocytes collected at the age of 3, 6, and 12 months and then annually up to 6 years of age. Conditional logistic regression models were adjusted for HLA risk genotype, ancestry, and weight z-score. Higher eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acid (n − 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids) levels during infancy and conjugated linoleic acid after infancy were associated with a lower risk of islet autoimmunity. Furthermore, higher levels of some even-chain saturated (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) were associated with increased risk. Fatty acid status in early life may signal the risk for islet autoimmunity, especially n − 3 fatty acids may be protective, while increased levels of some SFAs and MUFAs may precede islet autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3627
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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