Family Studies of Insulin-Dependent Diabetes: The UK Experience
The presentation of insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM) in children and young adults usually appears to be sudden (1), suggesting an acute pathology, but we now know that this is only the final step in a process of cumulative beta-cell damage extending over months or even many years. By the time of diagnosis some 80–90% of beta cells have been destroyed. Clinical trials have shown that immunosuppression of newly diagnosed patients may prolong the survival of the remaining beta cells, but it would be log al to intervene at an earlier stage, when the majority of these cells are still viable. This approach could only be considered if it were possible to predict accurately the onset of diabetes in a given individual.
KeywordsInsulin Secretion Beta Cell Islet Cell Antibody Predictive Index Random Blood Glucose
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