Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Height at diagnosis of insulin dependent diabetes in patients and their non-diabetic family members.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 292 doi: (Published 31 May 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:1419
  1. T J Songer,
  2. R E LaPorte,
  3. N Tajima,
  4. T J Orchard,
  5. B S Rabin,
  6. M S Eberhardt,
  7. J S Dorman,
  8. K J Cruickshanks,
  9. D E Cavender,
  10. D J Becker


    Height at the onset of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus was evaluated in 200 newly diagnosed children, 187 non-diabetic siblings, and 169 parents. Diabetic children 5-9 years of age at diagnosis were consistently taller than the national average. Non-diabetic siblings of the same age were also tall. Diabetic children aged 14 or over at diagnosis were short, while their siblings and parents were of normal height. Diabetic children positive for islet cell antibodies were taller than those without islet cell antibodies. No association between height and HLA antigens was found. Non-diabetic siblings at high risk for the disease were closer in height to the diabetic children than were the lower risk, non-diabetic siblings. Siblings, particularly those under 10, were also significantly more obese than the general population. Deviations in growth in patients with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus appear to be related to age at diagnosis and a factor(s) not related to parental height.