Blood test predicts type 1 diabetes risk
Trying to predict type 1 diabetes has long been a difficult task. However, a German research team says it has found a way to determine a person's risk of developing the condition. The scientists have identified two autoantibodies in the pancreatic islet cells that are the strongest indicators of diabetes risk. While the autoantibodies are good markers for the risk of developing the disease, they do not cause type 1 diabetes.
This study involved the observation of 13,377 children, through a combination of the data from three different studies. After a 10-year follow-up, 70 percent of the children with multiple autoantibodies developed type 1 diabetes, as compared to 15 percent of those who had just one of the autoantibodies. Of the entire study group, eight percent had one or more of the autoantibodies – 474 had one and 585 children were found to have two of the autoantibodies.
Nearly half of the children with two or more of the autoantibodies developed type 1 diabetes within five years, and 80 percent were diabetic within 15 years. Comparatively, only 14.5 percent of children with just one autoantibody develop the condition after 10 years. Researchers expressed concern for children under three years of age, as those who had more than one autoantibody were at a considerably higher risk of developing the disease.
The scientists believe their findings will help researchers select participants for studies focusing on delaying or preventing type 1 diabetes.