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Progression to Diabetes in Relatives with Islet Autoantibodies

A study published in the December 1999 issue of Diabetes Care found that family members with only islet cell autoantibodies (ICA) are at low risk for developing Type 1 diabetes. This is good news for parents of kids with diabetes who have been found to have islet cell autoantibodies. The researchers conclude, however, that family members with multiple autoantibodies are certain to develop Type 1 diabetes.

From a sample of 4,423 family members recruited for the U.K.-based study, 147 family members were found with high ICA levels (>= 20 JDF U). The cumulative risk for developing Type 1 diabetes within 15 years for all family members with high ICA levels was 47%, only 2.8% for those with only ICA markers, and 66% for those with ICA and at least one other autoantibody.

Parents are often quite anxious about the risk to their other children, once one child has developed diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Trial - Type 1 (DPT-1) tests first-degree relatives for autoantibodies and early signs of diabetes with the goal of determining if Type 1 diabetes can be prevented in high-risk individuals. Family members who have siblings with Type 1 diabetes are strongly encouraged to discuss the DPT-1 with their diabetes team.

Diabetes Care 22:2049-2054, 1999

Posted December 5, 1999

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Last Updated: Thursday February 27, 2014 19:28:21
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