Early Life Disease Programming during the Preconception and Prenatal Period: Making the Link between Stressful Life Events and Type-1 Diabetes

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  • Institute of General Medical Practice
  • Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine
BACKGROUND: To assess the risk of developing Type-1 diabetes among children who were exposed to maternal bereavement during the prenatal or 1-year preconception period. METHODS: We identified N = 1,548,746 singleton births born in Denmark between January 1(st) 1979 through December 31(st) 2004, and their next of kin. Altogether, 39,857 children were exposed to bereavement during their prenatal life. The main outcome of interest was hospitalization for type-1 diabetes (ICD 8: 249; ICD 10: E10). RESULTS: We found the strongest association for type-1 diabetes among children exposed to traumatic father or sibling deaths (aIRR: 2.03, 1.22-3.38); the association was mainly seen for girls (aIRR: 2.91, 1.61-5.26). CONCLUSIONS: We found evidence to suggest that female fetuses exposed to severe prenatal stress are at increased risk for developing type-1 diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalP L o S One
Volume5
Issue7
Pages (from-to)e11523
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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