Inflammation at diagnosis linked to type 1 diabetes progression

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Inflammation levels at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes could be linked with how the condition progresses, research suggests.
The US study team behind the findings had been investigating whether different subtypes of type 1 diabetes exist, and how inflammation levels could be related to their development.
Type 1 diabetes progresses at different rates, with children tending to experience a more aggressive form than those diagnosed in adulthood. This means that people can respond differently to immune treatments designed to preserve insulin production.
Blood samples from 42 children were analysed, all of whom were recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. They then observed their inflammation patterns, which in this study referred to immune system activity targeting insulin-producing beta cells.
The researchers found that higher inflammation levels at diagnosis led to faster loss of natural insulin production.
Furthermore, four subgroups of people with different forms of type 1 diabetes were identified, based on their different inflammation patterns at diagnosis.
The researchers state the findings could help to predict which people would benefit from treatments designed to cease the immune attack that characterises type 1, and preserve insulin production.
The findings also support the existence of multiple subtypes of type 1 diabetes, showing how people can experience different forms of the condition.
“The ability to identify individuals with rapidly progressing [type 1 diabetes] would allow for more informative and targeted trials of participants most likely to benefit from therapeutic intervention,” said the researchers.
They have called for further studies to determine whether these identified subgroups of type 1 diabetes are observed in other groups of people.
The study was partly funded by the JDRF, with the results published online in Diabetologia.