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Partial remission phase of diabetes in children younger than age 10 years

Abstract

There is renewed interest in the phase of partial remission in recently diagnosed diabetes because of the potential for pharmacological and immune intervention to preserve β cell function. 95 children younger than 10 years were investigated to assess the influence of age, sex, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), admission at diagnosis, and ethnicity on the frequency of remission and insulin requirements during the first two years after diagnosis. Partial remission was defined as a requirement of insulin < 0.5 U/kg body weight/day. There was partial remission in 41 patients, with no differences for children aged 2–4 years and those aged 5–9 years. None of the five children aged < 2 years remitted. Forty five of 95 children were admitted to hospital at diagnosis, of whom 26 of 45 had DKA (blood pH < 7.25). In this number of children we were unable to show a statistical difference in the rate of remission with respect to DKA, admission to hospital at diagnosis, sex, or South Asian ethnic background. There were no differences in insulin requirements between the different groups by the end of two years and at that time seven of the children required insulin < 0.5 U/kg/day. The results suggest that even in preschool children there is potential for attempting to preserve β cell function.

  • diabetes
  • remission phase
  • age

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