Country-specific birth weight and length in type 1 diabetes high-risk HLA genotypes in combination with prenatal characteristics

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To examine the relationship between high-risk human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotypes for type 1 diabetes and birth size in combination with prenatal characteristics in different countries.

Study Design:

Four high-risk HLA genotypes were enrolled in the Environmental determinants of Diabetes in the Young study newborn babies from the general population in Finland, Germany, Sweden and the United States. Stepwise regression analyses were used to adjust for country, parental physical characteristics and environmental factors during pregnancy.


Regression analyses did not reveal differences in birth size between the four type 1 diabetes high-risk HLA genotypes. Compared with DQ 4/8 in each country, (1) DQ 2/2 children were heavier in the United States (P = 0.028) mostly explained however, by parental weight; (2) DQ 2/8 (P = 0.023) and DQ 8/8 (P = 0.046) children were longer in Sweden independent of parents height and as well as (3) in the United States for DQ 2/8 (P = 0.023), but again dependent on parental height.


Children born with type 1 diabetes high-risk HLA genotypes have comparable birth size. Longitudinal follow-up of these children should reveal whether birth size differences between countries contribute to the risk for islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes.

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