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I have no family history of diabetes, why do you want to test my blood sample?

More than 90% of people who develop type 1 diabetes do not have a relative with type 1 diabetes. Because the markers of type 1 diabetes (islet autoantibodies) usually appear in the blood years before clinical symptoms appear, the aim of this study is to work out how many adults with no family history will develop type 1 diabetes.


I have a blood relative with type 1 diabetes. Can I participate?

Yes – you can, we welcome your participation. We will collect data about any family history of T1D on our recruitment questionnaire.


 I have type 2 diabetes; can I take part?

Yes – you can, we welcome your participation.  We know that some people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have islet autoantibodies, particularly GADA. If you do have islet autoantibodies for T1D you may wish to share T1DRA test results with the clinical care team looking after your diabetes treatment. Please do not make any changes to your treatment without speaking to your clinician.


Can I have my children tested?

No, not as part of this study but there is an ongoing study testing children between the ages of 3 and 13 years called The ELSA Study their website is: The ELSA Study (


What samples and information will you be collecting?

All samples are collected using our home kits that contain full instructions and freepost return packaging using an ordinary post box.

Capillary blood collected by finger prick blood is required for Islet autoantibody testing (identification of risk markers).

All positive islet autoantibody test results are confirmed by testing a separate finger prick sample.

We request a single DNA mouth swab sample from everyone that tests positive to islet autoantibodies.

Yearly Follow up: Islet autoantibody confirmed positive participants

Single islet autoantibody positive: Finger prick blood (islet autoantibody testing).

Multiple islet autoantibody positive: Finger prick blood (HbA1c & Islet autoantibody testing). Urine sample (C-peptide).

We will ask for your contact information, demographic details such as age, sex at birth, ethnicity, relevant medical conditions and whether you have any family history of type 1 diabetes.

Further information about how participants data is used can be found here: Research participant fair processing notice | University Secretary’s Office | University of Bristol


How long will it take to receive my islet autoantibody result?

On receipt in our laboratory, all samples undergo four tests to detect islet autoantibodies to insulin, GAD, IA-2 and ZnT8. Routine testing usually takes eight to ten weeks to complete, subject to demand.


How will I receive my islet autoantibody result?

Individuals who are negative:  The vast majority of individuals tested (>97%) will not have a positive islet autoantibody result and they will be notified by SMS message.

Individuals who are positive:  A research nurse will contact the participant and a confirmatory sample will be collected.  This is routine in research as autoantibody levels can fluctuate. A positive result will be confirmed by telephone, followed by a results letter which can be shown to a GP if you wish.


 What are the benefits of participating in T1DRA?

For the scientific community, this study will tell us for the first time the number of people in the general adult population “at risk” of type 1 diabetes.  For “at risk” participants, we hope that by providing islet autoantibody results and guidance about future risk, this should help prevent symptoms being overlooked and a delayed or emergency diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.


 If I want to withdraw from the study, how do I do this?

Should you wish to withdraw from the study, you can do this at any time without having to give a reason. Please email to let us know.