OBJECTIVE - We assessed whether a risk score that incorporates levels of multiple islet autoantibodies could enhance the prediction of type 1 diabetes (T1D).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - TrialNet Natural History Study participants (n = 784) were tested for three autoantibodies (GADA, IA-2A, and mIAA) at their initial screening. Samples from those positive for at least one autoantibody were subsequently tested for ICA and ZnT8A. An autoantibody risk score (ABRS) was developed from a proportional hazards model that combined autoantibody levels from each autoantibody along with their designations of positivity and negativity.
RESULTS - The ABRS was strongly predictive of T1D (hazard ratio [with 95% CI] 2.72 [2.23-3.31], P < 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic curve areas (with 95% CI) for the ABRS revealed good predictability (0.84 [0.78-0.90] at 2 years, 0.81 [0.74-0.89] at 3 years, P < 0.001 for both). The composite of levels from the five autoantibodies was predictive of T1D before and after an adjustment for the positivity or negativity of autoantibodies (P < 0.001). The findings were almost identical when ICA was excluded from the risk score model. The combination of the ABRS and the previously validated Diabetes Prevention Trial-Type 1 Risk Score (DPTRS) predicted T1D more accurately (0.93 [0.88-0.98] at 2 years, 0.91 [0.83-0.99] at 3 years) than either the DPTRS or the ABRS alone (P ≤ 0.01 for all comparisons).
CONCLUSIONS - These findings show the importance of considering autoantibody levels in assessing the risk of T1D. Moreover, levels of multiple autoantibodies can be incorporated into an ABRS that accurately predicts T1D.