(HealthDay News) — For infants at risk for type 1 diabetes, hydrolyzed formula does not reduce the incidence of diabetes-associated autoantibodies, compared to conventional formula, according to a study published in the June 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association,a theme issue on diabetes.

Mikael Knip, MD, DMSc, from the University of Helsinki, and colleagues studied 2,159 infants with human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-conferred disease susceptibility and a first-degree relative with type 1 diabetes (from May 2002 to January 2007 in 78 study centers in 15 countries). The participants were randomized to be weaned to the extensively hydrolyzed casein formula (1,078 patients) or to a conventional cows’ milk-based formula (1,081 infants).

The researchers found that the absolute risk of positivity for ≥2 islet autoantibodies was 13.4% among those randomized to the casein hydrolysate formula, compared to 11.4% among those randomized to the conventional formula (unadjusted hazard ratio for positivity for two or more autoantibodies, 1.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.94–1.54). When adjusting for HLA risk, duration of breastfeeding, vitamin D use, study formula duration and consumption, and region, the hazard ratio was 1.23 (95% CI, 0.96–1.58). The groups had similar rates of adverse reactions.

“These findings do not support a benefit from hydrolyzed formula,” conclude the authors.

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