131 patients with IDDM attending K.N.H. were studied.
The mean age of onset of IDDM was 20.1 years. There
was a male predominance with M:F ratio of 1.4:1 There
was a low prevalence of IDDM among first degree
relatives of diabetic probands. Definitive history of
viral infection preceding the onset of IDDM was found in
one patient. None of the patients had thryroglobulin
antibodies; thyroid microsomal antibodies were found in
0.7% of the patients. Parietal cell antibodies were
found in 4.6% of the patients. Islet cell antibodies
were found in 3.7% of patients with IDDM.· The prevalence
of autoantibodies in Kenyan Africans with IDDM is much
lower when compared with Caucasians and Black Americans
with IDDM. In view of the low prevalence of autoantibodies
in Kenyan Africans with IDDM, primary autoimmune diabetes
mellitus is considered rare in Kenyan Africans with IDDM.