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October 12, 2011

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Research: Other Research

Question from Marshfield, Massachusetts, USA:

My now eight-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 at age three. I have four other children who are part of a diabetic study and get blood drawn every year to look for autoantibodies. In her last blood test, my five-year-old daughter tested positive for two autoantibodies. My four-year-old daughter was positive for two autoantibodies a year ago and, this year, she was positive for three autoantibodies and her glucose tolerance test result was impaired. Can you tell me please what this means to you and how high their risks are of developing type 1?


In general, the more positive the antibodies and the more antibodies that are abnormal/positive, the higher the risks of autoimmune diabetes developing, also, the shorter duration from testing when this will occur. You should go back and discuss this with the study physicians since they can better give you the risks factors knowing the exact antibody titers, which antibodies are positive and which negative and what the trend has been over time. At some point, they would also likely suggest some home blood glucose monitoring especially with growth spurts, puberty changes and also illness since those are the times when it is most likely that the pancreas might stop making sufficient insulin. Some recent elegant antibody testing data from Finland confirms this information but it is consistent here in the U.S. as well as in Europe, Australia and Japan.