Table 1

Clinical features of the patient groups and normal controls

Patient subgroupNormal controls
UncomplicatedShort durationNeuropathic patients
Male:female17:2117:2642:3643:59
Age at onset of diabetes (y)17.7 (9.3) (0-36)17.2 (10.8) (0-42)20.7 (11.7) (1-58)
Duration of disease (y)31.1 (9.4) (20-56)2.4 (1.1) (1-5)28.5 (8.5) (12-50)
  • The results are expressed as mean (SD) (range).

  • Uncomplicated = patients who have had insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) for > 20 y yet remain free of retinopathy and proteinuria; short duration = patients who have had IDDM for < 5 years and remain free of retinopathy and proteinuria; neuropathic patients = clinical evidence of peripheral or autonomic neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy was defined clinically (symptoms of pain, numbness or paraesthesiae in feet or hands, loss of vibration sense, light touch or pin prick, and temperature, loss of ankle reflexes, evidence of past or present foot ulceration). Autonomic neuropathy was diagnosed if there was orthostatic hypotension, gastroparesis, or a flaccid neuropathic bladder.

  • The normal controls consist of samples from random healthy white blood donors, school children aged between 5 and 16, and sequential cord blood samples.