Low vitamin E status is a potential risk factor for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus


Knekt P




J Intern Med


OBJECTIVES: To study the association of vitamin E status with occurrence of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). DESIGN: A case-control study nested within a 21-year follow-up study. SUBJECTS: Nineteen incident IDDM patients with an average age of 28 years and three individually matched controls per patient. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Serum concentrations of alpha-tocopherol. RESULTS: Serum alpha-tocopherol concentration at the baseline examination was inversely associated with IDDM occurring 4-14 years later. The cholesterol-adjusted relative risk of IDDM between the highest and lowest thirds of the vitamin concentration was 0.12 (95% confidence interval = 0.02-0.85). CONCLUSIONS: The finding corroborates the hypothesis of a protective effect of vitamin E against development of IDDM. Because of the relatively old age of the patients in the present population, further epidemiological studies on the topic are warranted.

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