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Neonatal Phototherapy Not Linked to Type 1 Diabetes

No correlation in unadjusted analyses or after adjustment for hyperbilirubinemia, other covariates


THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Neonatal phototherapy is not associated with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM-1), according to a study published online Oct. 19 in Pediatrics.

Thomas B. Newman, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving 499,642 children born at ≥35 weeks of gestation from 1995 to 2011. Phototherapy, bilirubin levels, and other covariates were ascertained from electronic records. A diabetes registry and inpatient and outpatient diagnoses were used to identify DM-1 cases.

The researchers observed an increase in phototherapy use from 2.7 percent in 1995 to 16.0 percent in 2011. DM-1 was diagnosed in 37 of 39,406 children who had received phototherapy and in 712 of 460,236 who had not (15.1 versus 18.8 per 100,000 person-years). No evidence was found for increasing incidence of diabetes. Phototherapy was not associated with DM-1 in unadjusted analyses (incidence rate ratio, 0.81; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.56 to 1.12) or after adjustment for hyperbilirubinemia and other covariates (hazard ratio, 1.06; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.78 to 1.45). The strongest correlation for DM-1 incidence was seen for race and ethnicity, with the highest risk for whites (25.6 per 100,000) and lowest risk for Asians (8.9 per 100,000).

"We found no evidence of increased DM-1 risk in children who had received phototherapy," the authors write.

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