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From Oakland, California, USA:

My diabetes nurse once told me that people with type 1 diabetes usually produce minute amounts of insulin (measured by the C-peptide test) for 10 to 15 years after diagnosis. I have searched all over for a source to back this up, but haven't found anything except a doctor in Countdown who said that it is now suspected that up to 30% of people with type 1 diabetes produce insulin for life. Has anyone out there heard the 10 to 15 year idea? If so, is this backed up in the literature?


In type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes, some level of C-peptide can persist for as long as a year or even longer. In subjects who are already insulin dependent, the test is of little routine value clinically though, and is now primarily of use in those who were antibody negative at diagnosis. It is also used for those in whom no antibody test was done to see if they might actually have one of the variants of type 2 diabetes, one of the insulin resistance syndromes or perhaps type 1B diabetes. In these instances, normal or elevated levels of C-peptide could have a bearing on management.

I could find no specific reports of long term serial C-peptide measurements in autoimmune diabetes itself.


Original posting 17 Aug 2002
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:38
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