BACKGROUND: Diabetes in childhood and adolescence includes autoimmune and non-autoimmune forms with heterogeneity in clinical and biochemical presentations. An unresolved question is whether there are subtypes, endotypes, or theratypes within these forms of diabetes. METHODS: The multivariable classification and regression tree (CART) analysis method was used to identify subgroups of diabetes with differing residual C-peptide levels in patients with newly diagnosed diabetes before 20 years of age (n=1192). The robustness of the model was assessed in a confirmation and prognosis cohort (n=2722). FINDINGS: The analysis selected age, haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and body mass index (BMI) as split parameters that classified patients into seven islet autoantibody-positive and three autoantibody-negative groups. There were substantial differences in genetics, inflammatory markers, diabetes family history, lipids, 25-OH-Vitamin D3, insulin treatment, insulin sensitivity and insulin autoimmunity among the groups, and the method stratified patients with potentially different pathogeneses and prognoses. Interferon-ɣ and/or tumour necrosis factor inflammatory signatures were enriched in the youngest islet autoantibody-positive groups and in patients with the lowest C-peptide values, while higher BMI and type 2 diabetes characteristics were found in older patients. The prognostic relevance was demonstrated by persistent differences in HbA1c at 7 years median follow-up. INTERPRETATION: This multivariable analysis revealed subgroups of young patients with diabetes that have potential pathogenetic and therapeutic relevance. FUNDING: The work was supported by funds from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (01KX1818; FKZ 01GI0805; DZD e.V.), the Innovative Medicine Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking INNODIA (grant agreement No. 115797), the German Robert Koch Institute, and the German Diabetes Association.
FörderungenBundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation United States of America Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Union's Horizon 2020 Innovative Medicine Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking German Robert Koch Institute German Diabetes Association Fabian Theis Competence Network Diabetes Mellitus