Researchers find young diabetes diagnosis has links to less persistence of diabetes autoantibodies
A study published in Pediatric Diabetes has shown that a diabetes diagnosis at a younger age is associated with less persistence of diabetes autoantibodies (DAs).
The researchers also found for the seven years following a diabetes diagnosis the DA status is likely to stay stable.
The study, called A Longitudinal Assessment of Diabetes Autoantibodies in the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study, aimed to assess changes in DAs over time in children and young adults with diabetes. It also set out to uncover whether changes were associated with demographic characteristics, clinical parameters and diabetes complications.
More than 4,000 participants had their DAs measured at baseline and then again at 12 months, 24 months and at least five years later.
The presence of diabetes was examined at the follow-up after five years.
The researchers found 62 per cent of participants had longitudinal DA data and 51 per cent had complications and longitudinal DA data.
The study stated: “In participants with ≥ 1 baseline positive DA (n=1699), 83.4 per cent remained positive after 7.3±2.3 years duration of diabetes. Decrease in number of positive DAs was associated with longer diabetes duration (p=0.003 for 1 baseline positive DA; p<0.001 for 2 baseline positive DAs) and younger age at diagnosis (p<0.001 for 2 baseline positive DAs).”
According to the findings, there was no link identified between the “change in number of positive DAs in participants with ≥ 1 baseline positive DA (n=1391) and HbA1c, insulin dose, acute or chronic complications after 7.7±1.9 years duration of diabetes”.
The researchers concluded measuring DAs after initial presentation could help with diabetes classification, however, it is improbable to help predict the clinical course.