Objective: To explore whether children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during islet autoantibody surveillance through The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study retain greater islet function than children diagnosed through the community.
Methods: TEDDY children identified at birth with high-risk human leukocyte antigen and followed every 3 months until diabetes diagnosis were compared to age-matched children diagnosed with diabetes in the community. Both participated in long-term follow up after diagnosis. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and mixed meal tolerance test were performed within 1 month of diabetes onset, then at 3, 6, and 12 months, and biannually thereafter.
Results: Comparison of 43 TEDDY and 43 paired control children showed that TEDDY children often had no symptoms (58%) at diagnosis and none had diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) compared with 98% with diabetes symptoms and 14% DKA in the controls (P < 0.001 and P = 0.03, respectively). At diagnosis, mean HbA1c was lower in TEDDY (6.8%, 51 mmol/mol) than control (10.5%, 91 mmol/mol) children (P < 0.0001). TEDDY children had significantly higher area under the curve and peak C-peptide values than the community controls throughout the first year postdiagnosis. Total insulin dose and insulin dose-adjusted A1c were lower throughout the first year postdiagnosis for TEDDY compared with control children.
Conclusions: Higher C-peptide levels in TEDDY vs community-diagnosed children persist for at least 12 months following diabetes onset and appear to represent a shift in the disease process of about 6 months. Symptom-free diagnosis, reduction of DKA, and the potential for immune intervention with increased baseline C-peptide may portend additional long-term benefits of early diagnosis.
Keywords: HbA1c; pediatric diabetes; preservation of C-peptide; prospective study; type 1 diabetes.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.