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October 5, 2006

Research: Causes and Prevention

Question from Carbondale, Illinois, USA:

My three year old son was diagnosed with type 1 two years ago and is doing great on an insulin pump. I am expecting a baby in March and am wondering if there is a blood test that can be performed at birth to determine if the new baby will develop diabetes.


There are no perfect blood tests for such predictions. However, you should discuss this with your diabetologist since there may be some research studies available to utilize cord blood, i.e. chromosomal testing, islet cell and GAD-65 antibodies for screening, etc. Most do not do this outside of current research endeavors at present.

Additional comments from Dr. David Schwartz:

There have been some research studies looking at “diabetes risk markers” in new infants. The writer may wish to contact the Pediatric Diabetes research team under the direction of Dr. Desmond Schatz at the University of Florida in Gainesville. His coordinator who can likely address this question is Ms. Roberta Cook.