December 26, 2011

How Age Affects the Outcome of Type 1 Diabetes


A recent study examined the outcome of patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. There is nothing clever to entice you into reading this study. It summarizes why later onset of type 1 diabetes is far more advantageous (for lack of a better word) than if you are diagnosed at a younger age.

This study focused on several different autoimmune diseases but had a subsection dedicated to type 1 diabetes. Early age at onset for type 1 diabetes is the pits. The study took into account the morbidity rate (poor health conditions) and mortality rate (death rate) and the age of type 1 diabetes diagnosis.

It is considered a disease that has two peaks of onset: childhood (between the ages of 5 and 9) and adolescence (between the ages of 10 and 14). Type 1 diabetes is also diagnosed in adults in their 20s and 30s.

The presented symptoms of type 1 diabetes differ in the age of onset. Children and young adults present with weight loss, frequent urination , and excessive thirst. While younger people suffer more from diabetic ketoacidosis (vomiting, severe dehydration, and fruity-smelling breath) and elevated ketone bodies in the blood (from burning stored fat as fuel). Studies indicate that children and young adult patients have better beta cell preservation, meaning they are still able to produce some insulin. They experience symptoms before diagnosis and have a lower frequency of insulin autoantibodies. The older the onset also shows to have a lower A1c at diagnosis.

The research being conducted to ease the autoimmune attack leading to ┬átype 1 diabetes is limitless. However I can name 3 articles that focus on mitigating the autoimmunity that triggers the disease, and they are: Teva Pharmaceuticals DiaPep277, Omni Bio Pharmaceutical AAT, and Dr. Faustman’s BCG.

By no stretch of the imagination is this a complete list of who’s who in arresting the autoimmune attack causing type 1 diabetes. However this study shows that the outcome of patients who are diagnosed later in life have a better prognosis than those who are baptized by fire with type 1 diabetes.

To read the full study, click here.

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