Type 1 Diabetes Associated with Multiple Sclerosis Risk
May be due to both genetic and environmental factors
MONDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with type 1 diabetes have more than three times the risk of developing multiple sclerosis as those in the general population and first-degree relatives of multiple sclerosis patients are at higher risk of type 1 diabetes, according to a study published in the July issue of the Archives of Neurology.
Nete M. Nielsen, M.Sc., M.D., Ph.D., of the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues followed up 6,078 patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before the age of 20 years, and 14,771 first-degree relatives of patients with multiple sclerosis. The diabetic group was followed up for multiple sclerosis and the relatives of multiple sclerosis patients were followed up for diabetes.
The study found that type 1 diabetics had a 3.26-fold higher chance of developing multiple sclerosis, and first-degree relatives of multiple sclerosis patients were at 63 percent higher risk for developing type 1 diabetes. However, after adjusting for familial relationship, the excess risk was reduced to 44 percent.
"Several similarities in immunologic features of type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis may also suggest overlapping causes, " the authors write. "To our knowledge, the present study is the first truly nationwide cohort study to demonstrate intraindividual and, to a lesser degree, intrafamilial co-occurrence of multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. The underlying mechanisms remain unknown but may involve both genetic and environmental factors," they add.