Autoimmune diseases are related to each other, some more than others

March 24, 2019

NEW ORLEANS-- Researchers using the world's largest twin registry to study seven autoimmune diseases found the risk of developing the seven diseases is largely inherited, but that some diseases are more closely related than others. These results will be presented Sunday at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in New Orleans, La.

"These results contribute to our understanding of what causes autoimmunity and how autoimmune diseases are related," said Jakob Skov, M.D., the study's lead investigator and a Ph.D. student at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. "We examined the risk of acquiring not only one specific disease, but any one in a cluster of conditions. The findings may be helpful in patient education and autoimmune risk counselling."

Autoimmune diseases tend to run in families. The basis of twin studies is to examine concordance rates--the likelihood of both twins in a pair having the same disease. Higher concordance rates in identical than in non-identical twins point to genetic influence. This information is typically used to calculate heritability--a measure of how much of the variation in disease risk is due to genetic factors. Skov and his co-workers also looked at the likelihood of both twins in a pair having different autoimmune diseases--which they named "pseudoconcordance" - and compared these rates to measure autoimmune clustering.

By using data on 116,320 twins from the Swedish Twin Registry, which is managed by the Karolinska Institute, they found that Addison's disease, a type of adrenal insufficiency; celiac disease, or gluten intolerance; and type 1 diabetes, are strongly influenced by genes with heritability greater than 85 percent, while environmental factors contribute to disease for Hashimoto's hypothyroidism, a form of underactive thyroid; the skin disease vitiligo; Graves' disease, an overactive thyroid; and atrophic gastritis, a chronic inflammation of the stomach.

Autoimmune clustering was high in Addison's disease and vitiligo, the researchers found, but low in celiac disease.

"Our results indicate that Addison´s disease and vitiligo often overlap with other disorders, whereas celiac disease more rarely associates with the other diseases," Skov said.
-end-
Funding for this research came from the County Councils of Varmland and Stockholm, Swedish Society for Medical Research, Ake Wiberg Foundation, Swedish Research Council, Torsten Soderberg and Ragnar Soderberg Foundations, Novo Nordisk Foundation, and EU Horizon 2020.

Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at http://www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.

The Endocrine Society

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.