HLA-DQB1 genotypes, islet antibodies and beta cell function in the classification of recent-onset diabetes among young adults in the nationwide Diabetes Incidence Study in Sweden.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The World Health Organization considers an aetiological classification of diabetes to be essential. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether HLA-DQB1 genotypes facilitate the classification of diabetes as compared with assessment of islet antibodies by investigating young adult diabetic patients. Blood samples were available at diagnosis for 1,872 (90%) of the 2,077 young adult patients (aged 15-34 years old) over a 5-year period in the nationwide Diabetes Incidence Study in Sweden. Islet antibodies were measured at diagnosis in 1,869 patients, fasting plasma C-peptide (fpC-peptide) after diagnosis in 1,522, while HLA-DQB1 genotypes were determined in 1,743. Islet antibodies were found in 83% of patients clinically considered to have type 1 diabetes, 23% with type 2 diabetes and 45% with unclassifiable diabetes. After diagnosis, median fpC-peptide concentrations were markedly lower in patients with islet antibodies than in those without (0.24 vs 0.69 nmol/l, p < 0.0001). Irrespective of clinical classification, patients with islet antibodies showed increased frequencies of at least one of the risk-associated HLA-DQB1 genotypes compared with patients without. Antibody-negative patients with risk-associated HLA-DQB1 genotypes had significantly lower median fpC-peptide concentrations than those without risk-associated genotypes (0.51 vs 0.74 nmol/l, p=0.0003). Assessment of islet antibodies is necessary for the aetiological classification of diabetic patients. HLA-DQB1 genotyping does not improve the classification in patients with islet antibodies. However, in patients without islet antibodies, HLA-DQB1 genotyping together with C-peptide measurement may be of value in differentiating between idiopathic type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.


  • Ekaterine Bakhtadze
  • Henrik Borg
  • G Stenstrom
  • Per Fernlund
  • H Arnqvist
  • A Ekbom-Schnell
  • J Bolinder
  • J Eriksson
  • S Gudbjornsdottir
  • L Nystrom
  • Leif Groop
  • Göran Sundkvist
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • C-peptide, islet antibodies, HLA-DQB1 genotypes, classification
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1785-1794
Issue numberMay 31
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Clinical Chemistry, Malmö (013016000), Department of Translational Medicine (013017500), Diabetes and Endocrinology (013241530), Medicine (Lund) (013230025), Diabetes Epidemiology and Neuropathy (013241560)

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Related research output

Bakhtadze, E., 2009, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University. 169 p.

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