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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Accumulation of childhood adversities and type 1 diabetes risk: a register-based cohort study of all children born in Denmark between 1980 and 2015

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BACKGROUND: Previous studies have indicated an association between childhood adversities and type 1 diabetes but have been underpowered and limited by selection. We aim to quantify the effect of accumulation of childhood adversities on type 1 diabetes risk, and to assess whether the effect differs between males and females in a large and unselected population sample.

METHODS: We used register-based data covering all children born in Denmark between 1980 and 2015, totalling >2 million children. We specified a multi-state model to quantify the effect of accumulation of childhood adversities on type 1 diabetes risk. The effects of specific childhood adversities on type 1 diabetes were estimated using proportional hazards models.

RESULTS: Accumulation of childhood adversities had a quantitatively small effect on type 1 diabetes risk among females [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) per adversity increase: 1.07; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02-1.11], but not among males (adjusted HR per adversity increase: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.97-1.03). Females exposed to extreme numbers (7+) of adversities had two times higher risk of type 1 diabetes compared with unexposed females (adjusted HR: 2.06; 95% CI: 1.10-3.86).

CONCLUSIONS: In an unselected total population sample, we generally find no or negligible effects of childhood adversities on type 1 diabetes risk, which may be reassuring to persons with type 1 diabetes who are concerned that personal trauma contributed to their disease. There is a very small group of females exposed to a high degree of adversity who may have a higher risk of type 1 diabetes and this group needs further attention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Volume49
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1604-1613
Number of pages10
ISSN0300-5771
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2020

    Research areas

  • Adverse childhood experiences, Childhood adversities, Life course, Life events, Prospective study, Register-based, Type 1 diabetes

ID: 61308560