Sardinia: A battlefield approach to type I diabetes epidemiology

G. F. Bottazzo, E. Cossu, R. Cirillo, A. Loviselli, F. Velluzzi, S. Mariotti, A. Balestrieri, G. Delitala, V. Sepe, M. Songini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sardinia and Finland have the highest incidence of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) in the world. Therefore, both regions represent ideal observatories for investigating the environmental, genetic and immunological factors which have led to this dramatic increase. We have concentrated our efforts on Sardinia. Among several projects, there is the mapping of the island for hot and cold spots for overt IDDM. In order to map the island for pre-IDDM, we have collected and bled around 10,000 school children (age 6-14 years) and we are now in the process of enrolling around 30,000 new-born babies. We report here our initial results, which show that progression to IDDM is accompanied in both cohorts by the presence of a combination of islet-cell antibodies with either glutamic acid decarboxylase or IA-2 antibodies or both. This approach should lead to the design of reliable models of IDDM prediction in the general population, which will benefit an early insulin treatment and, hopefully, an effective prevention of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-66
Number of pages3
JournalHormone Research
Issue numberSUPPL. 4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1997


  • Epidemiology
  • EURODIAB-ACE survey
  • Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
  • Sardinia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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