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Type 1 diabetes could increase risk of developing another autoimmune disease

People with type 1 diabetes could be more likely to develop another autoimmune disease, according to a new study.
Almost a third of all people with type 1 diabetes who enrolled in the US T1D Exchange Registry had a diagnosis of at least one other autoimmune disease, such as celiac disease.
Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis stressed that these findings should be used to help clinicians anticipate and manage the healthcare of people with type 1 diabetes.
Data was evaluated from 25,759 participants with type 1 diabetes to determine the prevalence of factors that could predict association with other autoimmune conditions. The mean age of the participants was 23 years and the mean duration of diabetes was 11 years.
A total of 6,876 (27 per cent) participants had at least one additional autoimmune disease; the frequency of two or more autoimmune disease increased from 4.3 per cent among those under 13 years to 10.4 per cent in those 50 years or older.
Thyroid diseases were the most frequently diagnosed autoimmune disease, with the next most common being gastrointestinal and collagen vascular diseases.
Longer type 1 diabetes duration and diagnosis later in life increased the likelihood of additional autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, the overall prevalence of one of more autoimmune diseases was higher in females.
“These findings have implications for screening practices and pre-test probability of identifying autoimmune disease, suggesting that clinicians should remain vigilant to the possibility of other autoimmune disease even in older [type 1 diabetes] patients,” said the study authors.
“Results of this study have implications for both primary care and endocrine practice and will allow clinicians to better anticipate and manage the additional autoimmune diseases that develop in patients with T1D.”
The study was published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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