Seventeen (14 per cent) of 121 long-term insulin-treated diabetics were found to be positive for islet cell antibodies. Their duration of diabetes ranged between five and 45 years. Thirteen of these 17 patients were tested for the persistence of islet cell function by measurement of C-peptide. There was no detectable C-peptide in 12 patients, confirming that islet function had ceased. The significance of the persistence of islet cell antibodies in diabetes is unknown
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