Due to well-designed studies of birth cohorts and at-risk individuals, our understanding of the natural history of pre- and early type 1 diabetes (T1D) has advanced considerably over the past decade. Genetic risk scores can predict with increasing precision and accuracy who is at risk for T1D, and early staging based upon islet autoantibody status allows for improved mechanistic and natural history studies as well as improved clinical trial design. A growing number of children are being diagnosed with islet autoimmunity prior to the onset of symptoms, and confusion remains surrounding their proper management. These patients should have access to appropriate counseling and should be referred to a center that can provide information regarding current prevention trials. In the future, a successful prevention strategy for T1D would justify population-based screening for all children.
Keywords: Autoantibodies; Natural history; Prevention; Risk; Staging; Type 1 diabetes.
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