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MIDIA project (project description) - project description


The MIDIA project is looking for the environmental causes of type 1 diabetes.

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Some children with "diabetes risk genes" become sick, whilst others stay healthy. This may be due to diet, infections or other factors. It is probably due to influences early in life, maybe at the foetal stage.


The aim of the project is to find the environmental causes of type 1 diabetes with a view to preventing disease.


Recruitment ended in 2007. Participant follow-up will continue until they are 15-years-old, or as long as they wish.

In 2014, a new sub-study about coeliac disease was established to find out if there is a link between diabetes and coeliac disease. 

Around 47,000 children have been genetically tested for the diabetes risk genes throughout Norway (December 2007). Almost 1,000 children have been diagnosed with a high genetic risk for type 1 diabetes (December 2007). Of these, some have chosen to withdraw from MIDIA but have given consent for their existing data to be used in the project. This means that MIDIA has research data from the follow-up of more than 900 children.  

About the participants

In 2011, MIDIA followed over 600 families that had given consent to continued participation. 

The participants send in questionnaires and blood samples as previously arranged. Faecal samples are no longer required since they are over three years of age.  

Recruitment ended in 2007, but research continues 

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health stopped the recruitment of new participants to the project in 2007, following a decision from the Norwegian Directorate of Health (10.12.07). The Directorate concluded that participation in MIDIA does not provide enough health benefits to meet the requirements of biotechnology regulations. 

New sub-study about coeliac disease (2014)

From previous research, we know that those who have a high genetic risk for type 1 diabetes also have an increased risk of coeliac disease. As for type 1 diabetes, we do not know why some of the children with risk genes for coeliac disease become sick while others remain healthy.

The purpose of the coeliac study in MIDIA is to look for possible environmental causes in order to prevent disease. Diet and intestinal bacteria may play a role and new research indicates that infections in early life can contribute to an increased risk of coeliac disease. 

MIDIA data gives us a unique possibility to research these questions. The coeliac study began in summer 2014 and recruitment ended in 2015.