Background: Previous reports suggest that epilepsy and autism are more common in children with autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes (T1D). While each condition is common in the general population, only small numbers of children have the two conditions together, so there is currently little coordinated support. We sought to describe the incidence in our own population.
Methods: Retrospective review of the Diamond database and clinical notes for children known to have T1D and autism or T1D and an epilepsy. The data was analysed using Microsoft Excel.
Results: Eleven children had T1D and autism (two females, nine males), while four children had both T1D and epilepsy (two females, two males). The prevalence in our clinic was 3.16% (11/348) and 1.15% (4/348) for children with T1D and autism or epilepsy respectively. The mean age of diagnosis of T1D for the children with autism was 10 years, 9 months (range 11.3 years). For the children with epilepsy, this was lower at 4 years, 2 months (range 3.5 years). In the autism group, most children were diagnosed with T1D after autism, whilst in the other group most children were diagnosed with T1D before epilepsy. The mean HbA1c for the group with autism was 60.7 mmol/mol (range 16 mmol/mol), while in the epilepsy group it was 77 mmol/mol (range 35.5 mmol/mol) This is compared to the clinic average of 60.7 mmol/mol. The extra support receiving varied in the two groups. In the autism group, three children were subject to Child Protection procedures, and seven had social care support services in place. Six out of 11 children in this group have had a referral to CAMHS. In the epilepsy group, the only extra support provided was a CAF for one child.
Conclusions: Though our numbers are small, we found that the majority of children with autism had other support services in place. It is unclear why the epilepsy group HbA1c levels were higher than the clinic average, which requires further investigation. More research is needed on the outcomes for children who have another challenging condition alongside T1D.
22 - 24 Nov 2017
British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes