Large-scale screening for islet autoantibodies has reduced the occurrence of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) among children in Germany with pre-symptomatic Type 1 diabetes.
The screening, part of a research study called Fr1da, tested 90,632 children aged 2–5 in Bavaria, during primary care visits. Over four years, 280 children showed pre-symptomatic Type 1 diabetes (.31%), of which 24.9% developed the condition, and the prevalence of DKA was less than 5% – in unscreened children, DKA prevalence is 20% in Germany.
Fr1da, led by Anette-Gabriele Ziegler, Director of the Institute of Diabetes Research at Helmholtz Zentrum München, shows that large-scale screenings are possible and that there can be benefits to early diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.
“A potential clinical benefit of identifying Type 1 diabetes in a pre-symptomatic stage is a reduction in the prevalence of life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis,” explains Ziegler.
Next steps involve a cost-benefit analysis of the screenings, which could further support the inclusion of screenings for pre-symptomatic Type 1 diabetes into standard care. “Early diagnosis would make the road to a world without Type 1 diabetes much easier,” Ziegler said.