Background: Diabetes Mellitus is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality especially in under developed countries like Pakistan. In type 1 Diabetes, there is autoimmune destruction of β cells which is genetically transmitted. Various factors are responsible for this autoimmune process like early use of cows milk, allergic food, absence of breastfeeding and various other factors.
Objective: Our study aims to investigate the role of breastfeeding in prevention of type 1 diabetes in an underdeveloped country Pakistan.
Research design and methods: A case control study was conducted in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Lahore from March 2016 to April 2017. Case were the patients diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and controls were the siblings of affected children. Type 1 Diabetes was diagnosed according to the criteria of World Health Organisation and using ISPAD guidelines. Data on breast feeding, introduction of cows milk, time and duration of breast feeding, prenatal care, gestational age, mode of delivery, birth weight, need for resuscitation and immunisation status were collected through the information provided by parents and health records. Date was analysed using SPSS.
Results: One hundred children with type 1 Diabetes and their respective siblings were included in the study. The total study population was 200. Patients with type 1 diabetes had a shorter duration of breastfeeding usually 3-4 months. However, 38% of the patients were never breastfed in the life. The diabetic group was exposed to cows milk during the 3rd month of their life whereas the control group was exposed to cows milk after the 2nd year of their life. Other parameters also exhibited that a longer duration of breastfeeding was associated with a protective effect against diabetes.
Conclusions: We concluded that breastfeeding plays a vital role in prevention of Type 1 Diabetes. It is important that future studies must identify the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding in order to prevent diseases like type 1 diabetes.
27 - 29 Sep 2018
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology