The goal was to examine the relationship between age at the introduction of solid foods during the first year of life and allergic sensitization in 5-year-old children.
We analyzed data from the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention nutrition study, a prospective, birth cohort study. We studied 994 children with HLA-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes mellitus for whom information on breastfeeding, age at the introduction of solid foods, and allergen-specific immunoglobulin E levels at 5 years was available. The association between age at the introduction of solid foods and allergic sensitization was analyzed by using logistic regression.
The median duration of exclusive breastfeeding was 1.8 months (range: 0-10 months). After adjustment for potential confounders, late introduction of potatoes (>4 months), oats (>5 months), rye (>7 months), wheat (>6 months), meat (>5.5 months), fish (>8.2 months), and eggs (>10.5 months) was significantly directly associated with sensitization to food allergens. Late introduction of potatoes, rye, meat, and fish was significantly associated with sensitization to any inhalant allergen. In models that included all solid foods that were significantly related to the end points, eggs, oats, and wheat remained the most important foods related to sensitization to food allergens, whereas potatoes and fish were the most important foods associated with inhalant allergic sensitization. We found no evidence of reverse causality, taking into account parental allergic rhinitis and asthma.
Late introduction of solid foods was associated with increased risk of allergic sensitization to food and inhalant allergens.
A third of parents suspect food allergy in their children. Questionnaire-based studies usually overestimate the occurrence of food allergies. The aim of the present study was to validate a study questionnaire by comparing children's use of special diets as reported by parents with patient records at the hospital.
A population-based cohort with genetic susceptibility to type 1 diabetes (15% of those screened) was recruited in the Tampere area between 1997 and 2001, and followed for development of food allergy for 3 years. Food allergies and other special diets were queried at the age of 3 years with a structured questionnaire. The hospital records of the children, whose parents had reported an elimination diet of the child, were studied to validate the parental reports of food allergies. The hospital database was also checked for the respective diagnosis codes to estimate underreporting.
Altogether, 1122 parents returned the questionnaire at the study center visit when the child was 3 years old. Food allergy was reported by 15.0% of the parents. In 10.6% of the children food allergy had been diagnosed or confirmed at the hospital. Hospital-confirmed food allergy was unreported in 0.9% of the cases. The measure of agreement between reported and hospital-confirmed food allergies, using crosstabulation with Cohen's Kappa, was within 0.71-0.88 for cow's milk allergy, 0.74-0.82 for cereal allergy and 0.66-0.86 for any reported food allergy.
We found that the validity of the questionnaire obtaining information on food allergies of infants and young children was good to excellent based on a comparison between parental reports and information obtained from patient records.
During the period 1973--1976, a significant decrease in perinatal mortality from 14.2 to 10.4/10 newborns occurred in Sweden. In the Stockholm area, the mean perinatal mortality during the same period varied significantly between the different maternity hospitals, even when pre-term and high risk pregnancies were excluded from the comparison. The majority of hospitals with fewer deliveries and without pediatric wards had a perinatal mortality above the mean. Some explanations of these differences were also looked for in differences between the total population of the referral area of each maternity hospital. In the referral areas of the hospitals with a perinatal mortality above the mean, there were higher percentages of low-income households and over-crowded dwellings and fewer professional people than in the other area. The results suggest a need for analysis of individually-based data to find etiological factors which account for differences in perinatal mortality.
Three cohorts of women were identified with the aid of occupational codes in the census, linked to the Medical Birth Registry and an Inpatient Registry, containing information on women hospitalized for spontaneous abortion. The three cohorts were selected from the same socioeconomic stratum but had different probabilities to be exposed for video screen work: high, medium, and low. The total pregnancy outcome of the three groups of women did not differ significantly, but there was a weak trend for more spontaneous abortions and perhaps also for congenital malformations in the group with the highest video screen work exposure; however, the differences could be random. Comparisons of delivery outcomes for these cohorts in 1976-77 with those in 1980-81 did not show any consistent pattern in spite of the heavy computerization of these workplaces which occurred between the two time periods. The second part of this report studies the material in further detail.
A case-control study on work with video screen equipment during pregnancy has been made for three cohorts of women, identified with the aid of occupational codes in the census, linked to the Medical Birth Registry and a registry containing information on women hospitalized for spontaneous abortion. Five hundred and twenty-two cases were selected (women with spontaneous abortions or women who had infants that died, had severe malformations, or had a birth-weight below 1,500 g) and 1,032 controls (women who had infants without any of these characteristics) taken from the same age stratum as the cases. All pregnancies had occurred in 1980-81. Questionnaires were mailed to the women asking for information on their work situation, including questions about work with video screen equipment. Fifty-eight women were excluded for various reasons. Response rate was 93%--lower (89%) among women with spontaneous abortions than among women who gave birth (95%). As stress and smoking were associated with video screen work, the effect of video screen work was analyzed after stratification for stress and smoking--no statistically significant effect of video screen work was seen but odds ratios were above 1. Crude odds ratios for video screen work were significantly elevated and showed a dose-dependent effect. This finding is discussed from the point of view of biases in the study: selective non-responding, recall bias, geographical variability, and lack of information on women who had induced abortions. Using questionnaire data for exposure rates in the populations studied, an estimate of the effect greater than or equal to 10 hr weekly work with video screens on spontaneous abortion rate was made. The point estimate was 1.04 with a 95% confidence interval of 0.9-1.2. Analysis of 44 infants with birth defects whose mothers had worked more than 10 hr/week with video screen equipment compared to 30 infants with birth defects whose mothers had not used such equipment in early pregnancy showed no signs of specificity in the type of birth defect.
In Finland the world-record for the highest incidence of type 1 diabetes has risen steeply over the past decades. However, after 2006 the incidence rate has plateaued. We showed earlier, that despite the strong genetic disease component, environmental factors are driving the increasing disease incidence.
Since vitamin D intake has increased considerably in the country since 2003, we analyzed how serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentration changed over time in healthy children, and the timely relation of these changes to disease incidence.
The birth cohort of the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention project was used to explore longitudinal changes in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin concentrations. The sampling period was limited to children born from 1994 to 2004, with serum samples collected during 1998-2006 in the Turku area, Southwest Finland (60 ?N).
25(OH)D concentrations were measured every 3-6 months from birth, ages ranging from 0.3 to 12.2 years (387 subjects, 5334 measurements).
Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were markedly lower before 2003 than after (69.3 ? 1.0 nmol/L vs 84.9 ? 1.3 nmol/L, respectively, P
An update of the Swedish reference standards for weight, length, and head circumference at birth, for each week of gestational age, is presented. It is based on the total Swedish cohorts of infants born 1977-1981 (n = 475,588). A "healthy population" (79%) was extracted, using prospectively collected data. Weekly (28-42 weeks) grouped data for length and head circumference were well approximated by the normal distribution, but the distributions for birthweight were positively skewed. The original skewed distributions for birthweight were transformed, using the square root, resulting in distributions close to the Gaussian. For smoothing purposes, the weakly values for the mean and the standard deviation were both fitted by a third degree polynomial function. These functions also make possible the calculation of the continuous variable, standard deviation score, for individual newborn infants as well as a comparison of distributions between groups of infants. The reference values and charts presented here have two major advantages over the current Swedish ones: the sample size used is now sufficiently large at the lower gestational ages, so that empirically found variations can be used, and the skewness of the birth weight distribution has been taken into account. The use of the reference standards presented here improves and facilitates evaluation of size deviation at birth.
Human bocavirus 1 (HBoV1) DNA is frequently detected in the upper airways of young children with respiratory symptoms. Because of its persistence and frequent co-detection with other viruses, however, its etiologic role has remained controversial. During 2009-2011, using HBoV1 IgM, IgG, and IgG-avidity enzyme immunoassays and quantitative PCR, we examined 1,952 serum samples collected consecutively at 3- to 6-month intervals from 109 constitutionally healthy children from infancy to early adolescence. Primary HBoV1 infection, as indicated by seroconversion, appeared in 102 (94%) of 109 children at a mean age of 2.3 years; the remaining 7 children were IgG antibody positive from birth. Subsequent secondary infections or IgG antibody increases were evident in 38 children and IgG reversions in 10. Comparison of the seroconversion interval with the next sampling interval for clinical events indicated that HBoV1 primary infection, but not secondary immune response, was significantly associated with acute otitis media and respiratory illness.
A medical birth registry was used for a geographical analysis of birth weight distribution. Nearly 900,000 Swedish singleton births, 1973-1981, were used for an analysis of the effect of some variables and for standardization for these variables. A marked change in the rate of low birth weight infants (LBW, less than 2,500 g) was seen in the country between 1976 and 1977. A U-formed effect of maternal age and of parity was demonstrated. A marked interaction between the effects of these two variables existed. Two social groups were compared and the well-known high rate of LBW infants associated with low socioeconomic conditions was demonstrated. Standardization for the variables mentioned influenced this effect only little but reduced the difference between the social groups concerning infants above 3.5 kg weight. The background data were used for analysis of restricted geographical areas.
Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotypes associated with increased risk for type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) have been reported to be associated with increased birth weight. We set out to investigate the association between HLA haplotypes conferring risk for T1D and birth weight and search for possible differences in the strength of these associations among populations with contrasting incidence of T1D.
As a part of the EU-funded DIABIMMUNE study, genotyping for the HLA haplotypes associated with T1D was performed in 8369 newborn infants from Estonia, Finland and Russian Karelia. Infants born before 35 gestational weeks, from mothers with diabetes, and multiple pregnancies were excluded. Relative birth weight, expressed in standard deviation scores, was estimated for each gestational week, sex and country. The standard deviation scores were calculated internally using the actual population studied. According to their HLA haplotypes, participants were divided into risk groups, and the distribution of birth weight between quartiles was analysed.
We did not find any direct association between various HLA risk-associated genotypes (HLA DR3-DQ2/DR4-DQ8, DR3-DQ2/X or DR4-DQ8/X) and birth weight. We observed a significant relationship between increased relative birth weight and the protective HLA-DR2-DQ6 and DR13-DQ6 haplotypes. This association was significant only when these haplotypes were found together with the DR4-DQ8 haplotype.
The previously reported association between HLA-risk haplotypes for T1D and an increased birth weight was not confirmed. This suggests that the mechanisms behind the association between high birth weight and risk for T1D may be not directly HLA related.