High meat consumption is associated with type 1 diabetes mellitus in a Sardinian case–control study
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- Muntoni, S., Mereu, R., Atzori, L. et al. Acta Diabetol (2013) 50: 713. doi:10.1007/s00592-012-0385-2
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The large worldwide variation in type 1 diabetes incidence and increasing incidence over time points toward important environmental risk factors. Among them, nutrition plays an important role. The objective was to investigate the relationship between type 1 diabetes and nutritional factors in pregnancy and early in life. We carried out, using semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaires, a retrospective case–control study in 298 children of 0–15 years old, 145 of which were affected by type 1 diabetes. The diet of all children and of their mothers during pregnancy and lactation was assessed. In children, a statistically significant dose–response association between type 1 diabetes and the amount of meat consumption was found while no other nutritional factors were associated with the disease. High meat consumption seems to be an important early in life cofactor for type 1 diabetes development, although these findings need to be confirmed in wider prospective follow-up studies.