Skrodeniene E, Marciulionyte D, Padaiga Z, Jasinskiene E, Sadauskaite-Kuehne V, Ludvigsson J - 35104 N - Medicina (Kaunas) 2008 ; 44(1) : 56-63.

Environmental risk factors in prediction of childhood prediabetes

OBJECTIVE: The damage of beta cells occurs during the asymptomatic prodromal period called prediabetes before onset of diabetes mellitus. It is characterized by the presence of islet cell autoantibodies (ICAs). The aim of this study was to find out what environmental factors predict ICA seroconversion in healthy schoolchildren in Lithuania. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sera from 3053 nondiabetic schoolchildren living in Lithuania were investigated for ICAs. ICAs were measured in undiluted sera by indirect immunofluorescence method. All ICA-positive and randomly selected ICA-negative children were invited to participate in the study. Response rate in the families of ICA-positive children was 100% and in ICA-negative-76.5%. Data from 13 ICA-positive and 199 ICA-negative schoolchildren were included in the analysis. Information on the environmental factors was collected via questionnaires.RESULTS: Proportions of breastfed children were similar in ICA-positive and ICA-negative schoolchildren. Full cow's milk was introduced at one month of age or earlier more often in ICA-positive than ICA-negative schoolchildren (8.3% and 1.1%, respectively; P=0.05). Cereal before 3 months of age was introduced more often in ICA-positive than ICA-negative schoolchildren (7.7% and 0.5%, respectively; P=0.01). The mothers of cases took medicine during pregnancy more often than mothers of controls did (61.5% and 14.1%, respectively; P<0.001). More than half (53.8%) of ICA-positive children lived in homes where family members were smoking indoors, while this was recorded only for 26.6% of controls (P=0.04).CONCLUSIONS: Early introduction of cow's milk and cereal, the intake of medicine during pregnancy, and indoor smoking of family members are risk factors that predict the development of prediabetes among Lithuanian children.