Researchers developed new method to better predict onset of type 1 diabetes among infants

Researchers at the University of Exeter developed a combined risk score involving clinical, genetic, and immunological factors to predict future type 1 diabetes (T1D) risk among children.

Their research efforts, released in the journal Nature Medicine, unveiled a new test capable of better predicting T1D risk, based on an examination of more than 7,000 high-risk children.

According to researchers, the participants were followed since birth for a span of nine years and was associated with The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study.

The data from that study was utilized for the development of a new approach using multiple factors influencing the risk of T1D among children.

“We sought accurate, cost-effective estimation of future T1D risk by developing a combined risk score incorporating both fixed and variable factors (genetic, clinical and immunological) in 7,798 high-risk children followed closely from birth for 9.3 years,” the co-authors explained in their findings.

“Compared with autoantibodies alone, the combined model dramatically improves T1D prediction at ≥2 years of age over horizons up to 8 years of age, doubles the estimated efficiency of population-based newborn screening to prevent ketoacidosis, and enables individualized risk estimates for better prevention trial selection,” the co-authors determined.

The new approach significantly improved the prediction of type 1 diabetes among the participants, also increasing identification to help prevent the onset of ketoacidosis.

“We’re really excited by these findings,” said William Hagopian, co-author of the study.

“They suggest that the routine heel prick testing of babies done at birth, could go a long way towards preventing early sickness as well as predicting which children will get type 1 diabetes years later. We’re now putting this to the test in a trial in Washington State. We hope it will ultimately be used internationally to identify the condition as early as possible, and to power efforts to prevent the disease.”

Image courtesy of openaccessgovernment.org
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