The TEDDY Project

TEDDY (The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young) is an international research project carried out by a consortium of six clinical centers from four countries (Finland, Sweden, Germany and USA). In Finland, the project was launched in 2004 at the university hospitals of Turku, Tampere and Oulu.

The aim of the study is to investigate the role of environmental factors in the development of type 1 diabetes (T1DM). The study protocol includes regular follow-up visits in 3 or 6 months intervals and analysis of diabetes-related autoantibodies from blood samples. An intravenous glucose tolerance test is performed to children with autoantibodies. In addition, environmental risk factors are evaluated with e.g. questionnaires, food diaries and analysis of stool and other specimens.

To date, over 60 800 Finnish newborns have been screened for genetic risk for T1DM. Approximately 3 680 genetically susceptible children have been identified, and over 1 800 of them have been enrolled to the TEDDY study. The recruitment has ended in 2010. The follow-up will continue untill all participating children have reached 15 years of age (2024).

The long-term goal of the TEDDY study is the identification of infectious agents, dietary factors, or other environmental agents, including psychosocial factors which trigger T1DM in genetically susceptible individuals or which protect against the disease. Identification of such factors will lead to a better understanding of disease pathogenesis and result in new strategies to prevent, delay or reverse T1DM.

The following 7 centers participate in the TEDDY study:

  • Clinical Centers:
    • Colorado, USA: Barbara Davis Center, Univ. CO, Denver, CO
      • Clinical Site: Denver
    • Finland: University of Turku, Turku, Finland
      • Clinical Sites: Turku, Tampere, Oulu
    • Georgia/Florida, USA: Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA
      • Clinical Sites: Atlanta, Augusta, Gainesville
    • Germany: Diabetes Research Institute, Munich, Germany
      • Clinical Sites: multiple locations throughout the country
    • Sweden: Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
      • Clinical Sites: Malmo, Helsingborg, Kristianstad 
    • Washington, USA: Pacific Northwest Research Institute, Seattle, WA
      • Seattle
  • Data Coordinating Center: University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Information for participating families:

If you live far from our research units it is possible to participate in a so called long-distance research. This way the person participating donates a sample at a laboratory best fitting to his/her needs and all matters related to the research are done over a telephone. Ask more about this possibility from your own research unit.