Studies examining the association between type 1 diabetes (T1D) and atopic diseases, i.e., atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis and asthma have yielded conflicting results due to different algorithms for classification, sample size issues and risk of referral bias of exposed cohorts with frequent contact to health care professionals. Using Danish national registries and well-established disease algorithms, we examined the bidirectional association between T1D and atopic diseases in childhood and adolescence using Cox Proportional Hazard regression compared to two different unexposed cohorts from a population of 1.5 million Danish children born from 1997 to 2018. We found no associations between T1D and atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, or asthma (defined after age five). However, in multivariable analysis we found an increased risk of persistent wheezing (defined as asthma medication before age five) after T1D with an adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) of 1.70 [1.17–2.45]. We also identified an increased risk of developing T1D after persistent wheezing with aHR of 1.24 [1.13–1.36]. This study highlights similar risks of atopic diseases in children with T1D and of T1D in children with atopic disease after age of five years versus healthy controls. However, more research is needed to understand the possible early immunological effects of the link between persistent wheezing and T1D.
For guidance with statistical analysis and especially model assumptions for Cox regressions, we would like to acknowledge statistician Mia Klinten Grand, who had supervised in that process, as well as statistician consulting at Biostatistician Institute, University of Copenhagen. We would also like to thank Olivia McCarthy for language editing.
© 2023, The Author(s).