Epidemiology, Clinical Aspects, and Biology of IDDM Patients Under Age 40 Years: Comparison of data from Antwerp with complete ascertainment with data from Belgium with 40% ascertainment


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Abstract

OBJECTIVE -To compare the incidence rate of IDDM in the age-groups 0-14 and 15-39 years in Antwerp, Belgium, and to compare demographic, clinical, and biological data from Antwerp IDDM patients with 92% ascertainment with those from a larger Belgian patient group with 40% ascertainment.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS -Incident cases of IDDM were reported by physicians of the Belgian Diabetes Registry and in Antwerp by several other sources. In Antwerp, completeness of ascertainment was calculated by the capture-recapture method. Demographic and clinical data were collected by questionnaire. Blood was sampled for HLA-DQ genotyping and, in new-onset patients, for autoantibodies.RESULTS -In Antwerp, the age- and sex-standardized IDDM incidence rates were similar in both age-groups (0-14 years: 11.8/100,000; 15-39 years: 8.9/100,000). The incidence rate decreased in girls above age 15 years (6.9/100,000; P = 0.003) but not in boys (11.0/100,000). Both in Antwerp and Belgium, IDDM was diagnosed more frequently in the 15-39 years age-group (60% of all cases) than under age 15 years, with a lower prevalence of acute symptoms, ketonuria, high-risk HLA-DQ genotype, and autoantibodies against insulin, islet cells, and IA-2, but with a higher prevalence of GAD65 autoantibodies.CONCLUSIONS -In Antwerp, the incidence rate of IDDM under age 15 years is intermediately high compared with the rates in other European regions. It is similar in the 15-39 years age-group, but with a marked male predominance. Demographic, clinical, and biological data show the same age-dependent heterogeneity as the data collected nationwide, with 40% ascertainment indicating the representativeness of the latter.

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