Age and Family Relationship Accentuate the Risk of Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) in Relatives of Patients With IDDM

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1995 Dec;80(12):3739-43. doi: 10.1210/jcem.80.12.8530627.


The international community of diabetologists is rapidly becoming involved in intervention trials aimed at preventing insulin-dependent diabetes in high risk relatives. Whereas age and relationship to a proband with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus interacting with detected islet cell autoantibodies (ICA) are risk factors, their independent contribution to that risk remains unclear. In a prospective study of 6851 nondiabetic relatives of 2742 probands conducted between 1979-1993, we found age, but not relationship, to be a dramatic risk variable in ICA-positive persons as estimated by the Cox regression model. The 5-yr risk of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus was 66% for those found to have ICA detectable before age 10 yr, falling progressively to less than 16% for ICA-positive relatives over age 40 yr. In ICA-negative relatives, age and relationship are independent prognostic variables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Antibodies / analysis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics*
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors


  • Antibodies