The hypothesis of linkage between HLA and a disease susceptibility (DS) locus (or loci) for type 1 diabetes was tested. HLA segregation was random among 57 non-diabetic sibs but not among 39 diabetic sibs, suggesting that susceptibility to type 1 diabetes may be due to an HLA-linked gene(s). The data did not fit a genetic model involving either a single recessive or dominant gene. The excess of HLA-identical diabetic sibs and the reduced number who were HLA-discordant compared to expected numbers indicated that factors from both paternal and maternal haplotypes were necessary for DS. In 1 of the 3 families with a diabetic parent and more than one diabetic sib, the diabetic sibs inherited different haplotypes from the affected parent, suggesting that either of these haplotypes conferred DS. HLAB 8, B 18 and B 40 were increased in frequency among 97 unrelated type 1 diabetics compared with 238 controls, especially among those with onset age less than 10 years. This early onset group may represent a subtype of type 1 diabetes.

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