March 23, 2001
Question from Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, USA:
My 28 month old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about eight months ago and she has just been diagnosed with Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (or simply “Perthes Disease”). This condition is fairly rare, but is normally found in skinny, short, school-age, boys. Actually, the infliction is five times more common in boys. The disease affects the growth plate of the femoral head (hip) and can cause significant damage if left untreated. Since her profile is completely opposite of the typical affected child, I was wondering if you know of any connection between Perthes and diabetes. Our local diabetes educator has not heard of a connection during her tenure.
I could find no reports of a link between Perthes disease and type 1A (autoimmune) By chance, the two might be associated in 1:5,000,000 children, but perhaps when the human genome has been more fully explored, a rationale for this will be found.