Aims/hypothesis: We studied the decline of C-peptide during the first year after diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes (T1D), and its relation to various factors.
Methods: 3824/4017 newly diagnosed patients (95%) were classified as T1D in a national study. In a non-selected subgroup of 1669 T1D patients we determined non-fasting C-peptide both at diagnosis and after 1 year, and analyzed decline in relation to clinical symptoms and signs, initial C-peptide and occurrence of auto-antibodies.
Results: Younger children lost more C-peptide (p<0.001) and the higher the C-peptide at diagnosis the larger the decline during the first year (p<0.0000). Patients with higher BMI had higher C-peptide at diagnosis but lost more (p<0.01), and those with lower HbA1c, without symptoms and signs at diagnosis, and with higher BMI, had higher C-peptide at diagnosis, but lost more during the first year (p<0.001). Finally, patients diagnosed during autumn had higher C-peptide at diagnosis, but lost more during the coming year (p<0.001). Occurrence of auto-antibodies did not correlate with C-peptide decline, except possibly for a more rapid loss in IAA-positive patients.
Conclusions/interpretation: Even in a restricted geographical area and narrow age range (<18 years), the natural course of Type 1 diabetes is heterogeneous. This should be considered in clinical trials.
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