A new tool to help doctors predict which newly diagnosed children with type 1 diabetes are likely to not have a honeymoon phase.
It is an important discovery, because it allows doctors to identify which children will require closer monitoring of their condition following diagnosis.
Temporary, partial clinical remission means that the pancreas can make just enough insulin to control blood sugar levels either without needing insulin injections or with significantly lower doses.
Dr Benjamin Nwosu, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, said: “Our paper is the first to come up with a predictive model for non-remission.
“This presents the opportunity for clinicians to identify patients who are unlikely to remit, and then begin to ensure a normal or close to normal glucose profile in the first months of treatment of type 1 diabetes.”
The tool, which has been shown to be 73 per cent accurate, is based on several measurements including blood bicarbonate and diabetes-associated auto-antibodies to help doctors predict whether the young person is likely to experience the clinical remission.
People who are believed to have entered partial clinical remission or the honeymoon phase, are identified if their HbA1c levels are measured at 75 mmol/mol (9%) or less.
Previously, it had been assumed that everybody who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes would experience this remissio, but the researchers found that 57 per cent of children and adolescents did not.
Those who did not go through the honeymoon phase ended up needing more insulin in the long run and were more likely to suffer from diabetes-related problems in later life.
The findings of the study have been published in the PLOS One journal.

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