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Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism

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Volume 29, Issue 4


Exposure to sunshine early in life prevented development of type 1 diabetes in Danish boys

Ramune Jacobsen
  • Corresponding author
  • Research Unit for Dietary Studies, The Parker Institute, Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark
  • Institute of Preventive Medicine, Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Peder Frederiksen
  • Research Unit for Dietary Studies, The Parker Institute, Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Berit L. Heitmann
  • Research Unit for Dietary Studies, The Parker Institute, Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark
  • Institute of Preventive Medicine, Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark
  • Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition Exercise & Eating Disorders, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  • National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-12-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2015-0393

An erratum for this article can be found here: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2015-7777


Background: We aimed to assess the association between exposure to sunshine during gestation and the risk of type 1 diabetes (T1D) in Danish children.

Methods: The study population included 331,623 individuals born in Denmark from 1983 to 1988; 886 (0.26%) developed T1D by the age of 15 years. The values of sunshine hours were obtained from the Danish Meteorological Institute. Gestational exposure to sunshine was calculated by summing recorded monthly sunshine hours during the full 9 months prior to the month of birth. The linear variable then was split into two categories separated by the median value.

Results and Conclusions: Cox regression models showed that more sunshine during the third gestational trimester was associated with lower hazards (HR) of T1D at age 5–9 years in males: HR (95% CI): 0.60 (0.43–0.84), p=0.003. Our results should be considered in the context of evidence-based recommendations to the public about skin protection from the sun.

Keywords: Denmark; epidemiology; sunshine; type 1 diabetes; vitamin D


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About the article

Corresponding author: Ramune Jacobsen, PhD, Research Unit for Dietary Studies, The Parker Institute, Frederiksberg Hospital, Nordre Fasanvej 57, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark, Phone: +45 30691692; and Institute of Preventive Medicine, Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark

Received: 2015-10-02

Accepted: 2015-11-02

Published Online: 2015-12-16

Published in Print: 2016-04-01

Citation Information: Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, Volume 29, Issue 4, Pages 417–424, ISSN (Online) 2191-0251, ISSN (Print) 0334-018X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2015-0393.

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