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Eur J Endocrinol. 2013 Sep 14;169(4):479-85. doi: 10.1530/EJE-13-0206. Print 2013 Oct.

Insulin secretion and sensitivity in the prediction of type 1 diabetes in children with advanced β-cell autoimmunity.

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Children's Hospital, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, PO Box 22, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland.



Reduced early insulin response has been shown to predict type 1 diabetes (T1D) in first-degree relatives of diabetic patients, while its role, as well as that of insulin resistance, has remained poorly defined in young children representing the general population. The predictive values of these markers and their relation to other risk factors of T1D were assessed in children with advanced β-cell autoimmunity, i.e. persistent positivity for two or more autoantibodies.


Intravenous glucose tolerance tests (IVGTTs) were carried out in 218 children with HLA-DQB1-conferred disease susceptibility and advanced β-cell autoimmunity. Baseline, metabolic and growth data were compared between children progressing to diabetes and those remaining unaffected. Hazard ratios for the disease predictors and the progression rate of T1D were assessed.


Children developing T1D were younger at seroconversion, progressed more rapidly to advanced β-cell autoimmunity and had lower first-phase insulin response (FPIR) and homeostasis model assessment index for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) than those remaining non-diabetic. The levels of HOMA-IR/FPIR, islet cell antibodies, insulin autoantibodies (IAA) and islet antigen 2 antibodies (IA-2A) were higher in progressors. BMI SDS, FPIR, age at IVGTT and levels of IAA and IA-2A were predictive markers for T1D.


Young age, higher BMI SDS, reduced FPIR and higher levels of IAA and IA-2A predicted T1D in young children with HLA-DQB1-conferred disease susceptibility and advanced β-cell autoimmunity. Disease risk estimates were successfully stratified by the assessment of metabolic status and BMI. The role of insulin resistance as an accelerator of the disease process was minor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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