Diabetologia

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 72–78 | Cite as

Significance of cow's milk protein antibodies as risk factor for childhood IDDM: interactions with dietary cow's milk intake and HLA-DQB1 genotype

  • T. Saukkonen
  • S. M. Virtanen
  • M. Karppinen
  • H. Reijonen
  • J. Ilonen
  • L. Räsänen
  • H. K. Åkerblom
  • E. Savilahti
  • the Childhood Diabetes in Finland Study Group
Original articles

Summary

Dietary factors are suspected to play an aetiological role in the development of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). We analysed cow's milk formula, betalactoglobulin, and bovine serum albumin antibodies by an enzyme-linked immunoassay in unselected children with newly diagnosed IDDM and in their non-diabetic siblings and enquired about infant feeding practices by questionnaire. Among 410 diabetic sibling pairs matched for age and sex, by logistic regression analysis – including overall duration of breast-feeding, age at introduction of dairy products, recent consumption of cow's milk and HLA-DQB1 genotype (“high/moderate” vs “low/decreased” risk of IDDM) – bovine serum albumin IgG antibody levels (OR 2.12, 95 %CI 1.25–3.57) and genetic risk (OR 3.81, 95 %CI 2.43–5.17) were positively associated with IDDM; cow's milk formula IgM antibodies were inversely associated with the risk of IDDM (OR 0.50, 95 %CI 0.29–0.87). Of the diabetic sibling pairs, 42 were identical for HLA-DQB1 alleles associated with IDDM risk or protection (DQB1*0201, *0301, *0302 and *0602/03). In these 42 pairs, children with IDDM had higher median levels of bovine serum albumin IgG, of betalactoglobulin IgG, and of cow's milk formula IgG and IgA antibodies than the non-diabetic siblings (p < 0.05). In conclusion, children with IDDM have higher levels of cow's milk protein antibodies than their HLA-DQB1-matched sibling controls, and these high levels of antibodies are independent risk markers for IDDM. [Diabetologia (1998) 41: 72–78]

Keywords Cow's milk protein antibodies infant feeding dairy products human leucocyte antigens IDDM children. 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Saukkonen
    • 1
  • S. M. Virtanen
    • 2
  • M. Karppinen
    • 3
  • H. Reijonen
    • 4
  • J. Ilonen
    • 4
  • L. Räsänen
    • 3
  • H. K. Åkerblom
    • 1
  • E. Savilahti
    • 1
  • the Childhood Diabetes in Finland Study Group
  1. 1.Children's Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, FinlandFI
  2. 2.Tampere School of Public Health, University of Tampere, Tampere, FinlandFI
  3. 3.Division of Nutrition, Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, FinlandFI
  4. 4.Turku Immunology Centre and Department of Virology, University of Turku, Turku, FinlandFI

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