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From Massapequa Park, New York, USA:

My cousin's baby girl was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age three, and my aunt's sister (who was my mother) died of scleroderma. Could mother's scleroderma, which is a autoimmune disease, be the cause of my cousin' s daughter's diabetes? A family member seems convinced since scleroderma and diabetes are both autoimmune diseases.


The short answer is 'no'. All the same, autoimmune diseases do sometimes occur together in a group of syndromes called the Autoimmune Polyglandular Syndrome (APS) Types I and II. Type 1A diabetes is a common component with hypothyroidism a more distant second. There are a number of other sometime components of these syndromes, but scleroderma does not seem to be one of them.

Just to make things difficult however, there have been a number of reports, mostly from Europe, of what is called 'pseudoscleroderma'. This seems to mostly affect the hands, is seen in people with poorly controlled diabetes, and from the descriptions, this is probably a variant of the autoimmune fasciitis that is seen in APS. Also though, there are a very few descriptions of what seems to be bona fide scleroderma, but in the same person, not scattered in a family.


Original posting 22 Aug 2001
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


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