Infants might develop type 1 diabetes in the first 6 months of life and seems to be unrelated to known genetic risk factors; rather, it appears linked to low birth weight, say UK researchers.
They believe the discovery could mean the disease starts in utero.
Others are skeptical, however.
The team studied 166 infants with diabetes diagnosed before 6 months of age and compared them to babies with the more common neonatal diabetes and children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at older ages.
The combination of high type 1 diabetes genetic risk score (T1D-GRS), presence of islet-specific autoantibodies, and evidence of a rapid loss of insulin secretion all suggest that the infants had type 1 diabetes.
And notably, they all had a lower median birth weight than international reference standards.
“This study proves that type 1 diabetes can present in the first few months of life, and in a tiny