Protocol for a nested case-control study design for omics investigations in the Environmental Determinants of Islet Autoimmunity cohort

the ENDIA Study Group, Helena Oakey, Lynne C. Giles, Rebecca L. Thomson, Kim Anh Lê Cao, Pat Ashwood, James D. Brown, Emma J. Knight, Simon C. Barry, Maria E. Craig, Peter G. Colman, Elizabeth A. Davis, Emma E. Hamilton-Williams, Leonard C. Harrison, Aveni Haynes, Ki Wook Kim, Kylie Ann Mallitt, Kelly McGorm, Grant Morahan, William D. RawlinsonRichard O. Sinnott, Georgia Soldatos, John M. Wentworth, Jennifer J. Couper, Megan A.S. Penno

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Environmental Determinants of Islet Autoimmunity (ENDIA) pregnancy-birth cohort investigates the developmental origins of type 1 diabetes (T1D), with recruitment between 2013 and 2019. ENDIA is the first study in the world with comprehensive data and biospecimen collection during pregnancy, at birth and through childhood from at-risk children who have a first-degree relative with T1D. Environmental exposures are thought to drive the progression to clinical T1D, with pancreatic islet autoimmunity (IA) developing in genetically susceptible individuals. The exposures and key molecular mechanisms driving this progression are unknown. Persistent IA is the primary outcome of ENDIA; defined as a positive antibody for at least one of IAA, GAD, ZnT8 or IA2 on two consecutive occasions and signifies high risk of clinical T1D. Method: A nested case-control (NCC) study design with 54 cases and 161 matched controls aims to investigate associations between persistent IA and longitudinal omics exposures in ENDIA. The NCC study will analyse samples obtained from ENDIA children who have either developed persistent IA or progressed to clinical T1D (cases) and matched control children at risk of developing persistent IA. Control children were matched on sex and age, with all four autoantibodies absent within a defined window of the case’s onset date. Cases seroconverted at a median of 1.37 years (IQR 0.95, 2.56). Longitudinal omics data generated from approximately 16,000 samples of different biospecimen types, will enable evaluation of changes from pregnancy through childhood. Conclusions: This paper describes the ENDIA NCC study, omics platform design considerations and planned univariate and multivariate analyses for its longitudinal data. Methodologies for multivariate omics analysis with longitudinal data are discovery-focused and data driven. There is currently no single multivariate method tailored specifically for the longitudinal omics data that the ENDIA NCC study will generate and therefore omics analysis results will require either cross validation or independent validation. KEY MESSAGES The ENDIA nested case-control study will utilize longitudinal omics data on approximately 16,000 samples from 190 unique children at risk of type 1 diabetes (T1D), including 54 who have developed islet autoimmunity (IA), followed during pregnancy, at birth and during early childhood, enabling the developmental origins of T1D to be explored.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2198255
JournalAnnals of Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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