Winkler C et al. – Screening for islet autoantibodies in children likely leads to earlier diabetes diagnosis resulting in less complications at diagnosis. However, no substantial benefit in the clinical outcome during the first 5 yr after diagnosis was observed.Methods
- The German BABYDIAB and the Munich Family Study follow children with a first-degree family history of type 1 diabetes for the development of islet autoantibodies and type 1 diabetes.
- The Diabetes Prospective Documentation (DPV) Initiative registers and collects information on pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes throughout Germany.
- Here, clinical characteristics at diabetes onset [ketoacidosis, mean hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and length of hospitalization] and the 5-yr clinical course (HbA1c and insulin dose) of screened and followed islet autoantibody-positive children (n = 101) and 49 883 non-screened children within the DPV registry were compared.
- At diabetes onset, children who were followed after screening and were positive for islet autoantibodies had lower HbA1c (8.6 vs. 11%, p < 0.001) and a lower prevalence of diabetic ketoacidosis (3.3 vs. 29.1%, p < 0.001).
- Screened children also had a shorter hospitalization period at onset (11.4 vs. 14.9 d, p = 0.005).
- Similar results were observed when the analysis was restricted to 759 non-screened DPV children with a first-degree family history of type 1 diabetes.
- No differences between screened and non-screened children were observed with respect to HbA1c and insulin dose during the first 5 yr after diagnosis.