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Dietary fatty acid intake in childhood and the risk of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes: the DIPP birth cohort study

List of AuthorsHakola Leena, Vuorinen Anna-Leena, Takkinen Hanna-Mari, Niinistö Sari, Ahonen Suvi, Rautanen Jenna, Peltonen Essi J, Nevalainen Jaakko, Ilonen Jorma, Toppari Jorma, Veijola Riitta, Knip Mikael, Virtanen Suvi M

PublisherSpringer Heidelberg

Publication year2023

JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition


Journal acronymEUR J NUTR

Volume number62

Start page847

End page856

Number of pages10





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Purpose The aim was to study the associations between dietary intake of fatty acids in childhood and the risk of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Methods The prospective Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP) Study included children with genetic susceptibility to T1D born between 1996 and 2004. Participants were followed up every 3 to 12 months up to 6 years for diet, islet autoantibodies, and T1D. Dietary intake of several fatty acids at the age of 3 months to 6 years was assessed 1-8 times per participant with a 3-day food record. Joint models adjusted for energy intake, sex, HLA genotype and familial diabetes were used to investigate the associations of longitudinal intake of fatty acids and the development of islet autoimmunity and T1D.

Results During the 6-year follow-up, 247 (4.4%) children of 5626 developed islet autoimmunity and 94 (1.7%) children of 5674 developed T1D. Higher intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (HR 0.63; 95% CI 0.47, 0.82), arachidonic acid (0.69; 0.50, 0.94), total n-3 fatty acids (0.64; 0.48, 0.84), and long-chain n-3 fatty acids (0.14; 0.04, 0.43), was associated with a decreased risk of islet autoimmunity with and without energy adjustment. Higher intake of total fat (0.73; 0.53, 0.98), and saturated fatty acids (0.55; 0.33, 0.90) was associated with a decreased risk of T1D only when energy adjusted.

Conclusion Intake of several fatty acids was associated with a decreased risk of islet autoimmunity or T1D among high-risk children. Our findings support the idea that dietary factors, including n-3 fatty acids, may play a role in the disease process of T1D.

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Last updated on 2023-15-06 at 16:20