Identical and Nonidentical Twins: Risk and Factors Involved in Development of Islet Autoimmunity and Type 1 Diabetes

Taylor Triolo, Alexandra Fouts, Laura Pyle, Liping Yu, Peter Gottlieb, Andrea Steck, Lina Huerta-Saenz, Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: There are variable reports of risk of concordance for progression to islet autoantibodies and type 1 diabetes in identical twins after one twin is diagnosed. We examined development of positive autoantibodies and type 1 diabetes and the effects of genetic factors and common environment on autoantibody positivity in identical twins, nonidentical twins, and full siblings. Resarch design and methods: Subjects from the TrialNet Pathway to Prevention Study (N = 48,026) were screened from 2004 to 2015 for islet autoantibodies (GAD antibody [GADA], insulinoma-associated antigen 2 [IA-2A], and autoantibodies against insulin [IAA]). Of these subjects, 17,226 (157 identical twins, 283 nonidentical twins, and 16,786 full siblings) were followed for autoantibody positivity or type 1 diabetes for a median of 2.1 years. Results: At screening, identical twins were more likely to have positive GADA, IA-2A, and IAA than nonidentical twins or full siblings (all P < 0.0001). Younger age, male sex, and genetic factors were significant factors for expression of IA-2A, IAA, one or more positive autoantibodies, and two or more positive autoantibodies (all P ≤ 0.03). Initially autoantibody-positive identical twins had a 69% risk of diabetes by 3 years compared with 1.5% for initially autoantibody-negative identical twins. In nonidentical twins, type 1 diabetes risk by 3 years was 72% for initially multiple autoantibody–positive, 13% for single autoantibody–positive, and 0% for initially autoantibody-negative nonidentical twins. Full siblings had a 3-year type 1 diabetes risk of 47% for multiple autoantibody–positive, 12% for single autoantibody–positive, and 0.5% for initially autoantibody-negative subjects. Conclusions: Risk of type 1 diabetes at 3 years is high for initially multiple and single autoantibody–positive identical twins and multiple autoantibody–positive nonidentical twins. Genetic predisposition, age, and male sex are significant risk factors for development of positive autoantibodies in twins.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-199
JournalDiabetes Care
Volume42
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019

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