Type 1 diabetes (T1D) has the hallmark characteristics of autoimmunity superimposed on genetic susceptibility. Both genes (HLA) and immune markers (autoantibodies) have been validated as predictive markers of the subsequent development of the disease in higher-risk relatives and the lower-risk general population. Over the last three decades, using a combination of genes, immune, and metabolic markers, clinicians are now able to quantify an individual's disease risk from 1 in 100,000 to more than 1 in 2. This article reviews these biomarkers and T1D prediction strategies, and discusses potential implications of prediction and natural history for the pathogenesis of T1D.
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