[Diabetes mellitus type 1 and associated organ-specific autoimmunity]

C E De Block
Verhandelingen—Koninklijke Academie Voor Geneeskunde Van België 2000, 62 (4): 285-328
Autoimmune type 1 diabetic patients show a high prevalence of thyroid peroxidase (TPO), parietal cell (PCA), anti-adrenal (AAA) and anti-endomysium antibodies (EmA-IgA), which may be accompanied with clinical disease. We studied the grade of associated organ-specific autoimmunity and the pattern of prevalence of TPO and PCA by age, gender, duration, age at onset of diabetes, and HLA DR haplotype in 783 type 1 diabetic patients, consisting of 286 children and 497 adults (M/F: 389/394), with a mean diabetes duration of 11.8 +/- 10.1 years. The relationship between islet cell (ICA), glutamic acid decarboxylase-65 (GADA) and thyro-gastric auto-antibodies was also investigated. TPO were present in 21.6%, PCA in 18.3%, AAA in 2.2% and EmA-IgA in 2.1% of the patients. The presence of TPO is determined by gender (p < 0.0001), age (P = 0.0008), and PCA status (p = 0.029). The presence of PCA is only influenced by age (p = 0.0027) and TPO status (p = 0.0155). Patients with ICA+ > or = 3 years had a higher prevalence of thyro-gastric auto-antibodies (p = 0.045) than ICA- subjects. Also, PCA were more prevalent in GADA+ than GADA- patients (p = 0.005). We observed an association between HLA DR5 and PCA (p = 0.0012). Dysthyroidism was more prevalent in TPO+ than TPO- subjects (p < 0.0001). PCA+ subjects had a higher prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia (p = 0.0099) and pernicious anaemia (p < 0.0001) than PCA- patients. In conclusion, particularly type 1 diabetic patients with persisting ICA > or = 3 years or with GADA, show a high prevalence of thyro-gastric auto-antibodies. Based on antibody-positivity we observed a high prevalence of thyroid disease, iron deficiency anaemia and pernicious anaemia, which can compromise the health of the diabetic patient.

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