The challenge of childhood diabetes mellitus in India
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The prevalence of DM is about 0.4/1000 children with a lower incidence in the rural areas. Children comprise 3–5% of the total diabetics. A study of 55 pediatrie cases of DM (1980-84) showed that only 22 (40%) had ketoacidosis on admission. Ten (18.2%) had onset of illness before 4 years of age.
HLA antigen studies in childhood IDDM have shown a positive linkage disequilibrium with Bw21 (RR-12.7), and DR3 (RR=16.6). Prevalence of islet cell antibodies (ICA) was 30.9% (n = 110) as compared with 0.8% in controls. Antibodies against Coxasckie B2 virus were increased (75.5% vs 46.4% in controls). The C-peptide content was substantially low.
Malnutrition related DM occurs in adolescents in some parts of India. It is characterized by moderate hyperglycemia, low serum glycerol, relative insulin insensitivity, and pancreatic malformation/calcification in about 1/4 of subjects. There is no association with HLA antigens or ICA, and the precise etiology is unclear.
Mortality was 3.6% in patients admitted in our hospital but is higher in other regions due to poverty and relative lack of health care facilities.
Key WordsHLA and diabetes mellitus Coxsackie antibodies Malnutrition related diabetes
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