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  3. Diabetes mellitus
Medical and paramedical


Diabetes Mellitus

Type I diabetes is 3-10 times more frequent in patients with trisomy 21 than in the general population. It also has earlier onset, and is diagnosed 1 in 5 times by the age of 2 years. Most frequently, it is an autoimmune pathology like the thyroid pathologies with which it is often associated. Type II diabetes is also slightly more frequent than in the general population, with the same risk factors. Lifelong vigilance is therefore required to ensure early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes mellitus for patients with trisomy 21 and to avoid its complications.


In this video and accompanying technical sheet, Dr. Hervé Walti, a pediatrician at the Jérôme Lejeune Institute, tells you more.


See below for the presentation accompanying this video on “diabetes mellitus”.

  • Aitken RJ, Mehers KL, Williams AJ, Brown J, Bingley PJ, Holl RW, Rohrer TR, Schober E, Abdul-Rasoul MM, Shield JP, Gillespie KM. Early-onset, coexisting autoimmunity and decreased HLA-mediated susceptibility are the characteristics of diabetes in Down syndrome. Diabetes Care. 2013 May;36(5):1181-5. doi: 10.2337/dc12-1712. Epub 2012 Dec 28. PMID: 23275362; PMCID: PMC3631858.
  • Alexander M, Petri H, Ding Y, Wandel C, Khwaja O, Foskett N. Morbidity and medication in a large population of individuals with Down syndrome compared to the general population. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2016 Mar;58(3):246-54. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12868. Epub 2015 Aug 18. PMID: 26282180.
  • Bergholdt R, Eising S, Nerup J, Pociot F. Increased prevalence of Down’s syndrome in individuals with type 1 diabetes in Denmark: A nationwide population-based study. Diabetologia. 2006 Jun;49(6):1179-82. doi: 10.1007/s00125-006-0231-6. Epub 2006 Mar 31. PMID: 16575558.
  • Bertapelli F, Pitetti K, Agiovlasitis S, Guerra-Junior G. Overweight and obesity in children and adolescents with Down syndrome-prevalence, determinants, consequences, and interventions: A literature review. Res Dev Disabil. 2016 Oct;57:181-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2016.06.018. Epub 2016 Jul 19. PMID: 27448331.
  • Johnson MB, De Franco E, Greeley SAW, Letourneau LR, Gillespie KM; International DS-PNDM Consortium, Wakeling MN, Ellard S, Flanagan SE, Patel KA, Hattersley AT. Trisomy 21 Is a Cause of Permanent Neonatal Diabetes That Is Autoimmune but Not HLA Associated. Diabetes. 2019 Jul;68(7):1528-1535. doi: 10.2337/db19-0045. Epub 2019 Apr 8. PMID: 30962220; PMCID: PMC6609990.
  • Moreau M, Benhaddou S, Dard R, Tolu S, Hamzé R, Vialard F, Movassat J, Janel N. Metabolic Diseases and Down Syndrome: How Are They Linked Together? Biomedicines. 2021 Feb 22;9(2):221. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9020221. PMID: 33671490; PMCID: PMC7926648.
  • Mortimer GL, Gillespie KM. Early Onset of Autoimmune Diabetes in Children with Down Syndrome-Two Separate Aetiologies or an Immune System Pre-Programmed for Autoimmunity? Curr Diab Rep. 2020 Aug 25;20(9):47. doi: 10.1007/s11892-020-01318-8. PMID: 32839884; PMCID: PMC7445156.
  • Stolz U, Saur F, Gugler E. Das hyperosmolare, nicht-ketogene Coma diabeticum beim Kind [Hyperosmolar nonketotic diabetic coma in children]. Helv Paediatr Acta. 1977 Jul;32(2):155-63. German. PMID: 154487

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