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Islet autoantibody status in a multi-ethnic UK clinic cohort of children presenting with diabetes
  1. R Perchard1,2,
  2. D MacDonald3,
  3. J Say1,
  4. J Pitts2,
  5. S Pye3,
  6. J Allgrove1,
  7. K Banerjee2,
  8. R Amin4
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatrics, Queens Hospital, Romford, UK
  3. 3Department of Immunology, Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  4. 4Clinical & Molecular Genetics Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rakesh Amin, Clinical Molecular and Genetis Unit, UCL Institute of Chlld Health, London rakesh.amin{at}


Objective We prospectively determined islet autoantibody status in children presenting with diabetes to a single UK region in relation to ethnicity.

Design 316 (68.0% non-white) children presenting with diabetes between 2006 and 2013 were tested centrally for islet cell autoantibodies (ICA) and glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies (GAD-65) at diagnosis, and if negative for both, tested for insulin autoantibodies (IAA). The assay used to measure GAD-65 autoantibodies changed from an in-house to a standardised ELISA method during the study.

Results Even with use of the standardised ELISA method, 25.8% of children assigned a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes still tested negative for all three autoantibodies. 30% of children assigned a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes were autoantibody positive, and these had the highest glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels at 12 months follow-up compared with other groups (p value for analysis of variance <0.001), although the sample size was small. Autoantibody positivity was similar between non-white and white children regardless of assay used (60.0% (n=129) vs 56.4% (n=57), χ2=0.9, p=0.35), as was mean GAD-65 autoantibody levels, but fewer non-white children had two or more autoantibodies detectable (13% (n=28) vs 27.7% (n=28), χ2=12.1, p=0.001).

Conclusions Islet autoantibody positivity was associated with a more severe phenotype, as demonstrated by poorer glycaemic control, regardless of assigned diabetes subtype. Positivity did not differ by ethnic group.

  • Endocrinology
  • Race and Health

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