Researcher:Dr. Reem Al-Shammari
National Guard Program – Riyadh 2012/2013
Background: There is little information on the association between early infant feeding and type 1 diabetes in children in Arabian countries.
Aim of the study: To investigate the influence of breastfeeding as a protective agent against the onset of diabetes in children.
Material and methods: A case – control study was conducted with 200 subjects ( 99 cases and 101 controls ) between the age of 1-14 years who attended Ministry of National Guard – Health Affairs Hospital ( NGHA ), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the study period ( September to November 2013 ). For data collection mothers were interviewed by research coordinator to fill the questionnaire which is identical for case and control children. Descriptive analysis of cases and controls were carried out on the variables explored, and Chi-square, Odds-ratios and T-test estimates were made .
Results: The study data was complete for 200 subjects, including 101 controls and 99 type-I diabetic patients. 51.2 % of controls were males and 48.8 % were females and 50 % of cases are female and 50 % were males. There was no difference between the 2 groups with regard to intake or duration of breastfeeding ( p-value 0.28 ). Also there was no significant difference between the 2 groups with regard to the age of initiation of formula’s milk and weaning. The age at which the subjects was fed solid food for the first time did not differ significantly between the 2 groups ( p value 0.14). The study also showed that the subjects with type 1 diabetes were having higher birth weight ( p- value 0.009). The study results showed that the current daily consumption of cow’s milk in subjects with type 1 diabetes were higher significantly in patients group (p value 0.04). Those in the type 1 DM group were 3.7 times likely to have a sibling with type 1 diabetes.
Conclusion: Patients in the present study did not differ significantly from the controls with regard to dietary practices, breast-feeding, mother age, birth order in the family. However, child birth-weight, current cow’s milk ingestion, and family history of siblings with type 1 diabetes showed a significant association with type 1 diabetes mellitus .
Key words: Type 1 diabetes mellitus; case-control study; environmental factors; infant feeding; birth weight; family history of type 1 diabetes