Diabetes Care

Refining the Definition of Stage 1 Type 1 Diabetes: An Ontology-Driven Analysis of the Heterogeneity of Multiple Islet Autoimmunity

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OBJECTIVE To estimate the risk of progression to stage 3 type 1 diabetes based on varying definitions of multiple islet autoantibody positivity (mIA). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Type 1 Diabetes Intelligence (T1DI) is a combined prospective data set of children from Finland, Germany, Sweden, and the U.S. who have an increased genetic risk for type 1 diabetes. Analysis included 16,709 infants-toddlers enrolled by age 2.5 years and comparison between groups using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. RESULTS Of 865 (5%) children with mIA, 537 (62%) progressed to type 1 diabetes. The 15-year cumulative incidence of diabetes varied from the most stringent definition (mIA/ Persistent/2: two or more islet autoantibodies positive at the same visit with two or more antibodies persistent at next visit; 88% [95% CI 85–92%]) to the least stringent (mIA/Any: positivity for two islet autoantibodies without co-occurring positivity or persistence; 18% [5–40%]). Progression in mIA/Persistent/2 was significantly higher than all other groups (P < 0.0001). Intermediate stringency definitions showed intermediate risk and were significantly different than mIA/Any (P < 0.05); however, differences waned over the 2-year follow-up among those who did not subsequently reach higher stringency. Among mIA/Persistent/2 individuals with three autoantibodies, loss of one autoantibody by the 2-year follow-up was associated with accelerated progression. Age was significantly associated with time from seroconversion to mIA/ Persistent/2 status and mIA to stage 3 type 1 diabetes. CONCLUSIONS The 15-year risk of progression to type 1 diabetes risk varies markedly from 18 to 88% based on the stringency of mIA definition. While initial categorization identifies highest-risk individuals, short-term follow-up over 2 years may help stratify evolving risk, especially for those with less stringent definitions of mIA.