The importance of autoimmunity in diabetes research

Commenting on a report from the JDRF/Wellcome Trust scientific conference on the cross mechanisms of autoimmune diseases Professor John Todd, University of Cambridge, a leading expert in the genetics of type 1 diabetes, emphasised the importance of this area of research saying that while autoimmunity is common, affecting five per cent of the population, “it is not well treated yet, despite years of study.” Read more here.

The Eurodiab Prospective Complications Study looked at glyceamic control and the mortality risk in Type 1 diabetes patients. Glycaemic targets, such as the HbA1c target, and the overall benefit of intensive glucose control are currently under debate as intensive glycemic control has been suggested to have negative effects on mortality risk in Type 2 diabetes patients. The report examines the association between glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and all-cause mortality in patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus.The study was performed in 2,764 European patients with Type 1 diabetes aged 15–60 years enrolled in the Eurodiab Prospective Complications Study and was collated over a seven-year period.

It was found that all-cause mortality risk was increased at both low (5.6%) and high (11.8%) HbA1c compared to the reference (median HbA1c: 8.1%).

The report concluded that target HbA1c below a certain threshold may not be appropriate in Type 1 diabetics.

Read more here.

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