Q:

8/29/2013  
I would like to know if there is any research that links Diabetes 1 & 2 to chronic hives?

A:

Thank you for your inquiry.

Throughout the years there have been occasional reports of chronic idiopathic urticaria being associated with Type 1 diabetes (but to my knowledge not Type 2). The significance of this association has not been determined. Theoretically, both diseases can be “autoimmune” in nature, and this is at usually considered the reason for the link between the two.

I have copied for you below abstracts and references from several articles that have noted a relationship between the two conditions should you wish to explore this issue further.

Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope this response is helpful to you.

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 May;129(5):1307-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.01.043. Epub 2012 Feb 14.
Chronic urticaria and autoimmunity: associations found in a large population study.
Confino-Cohen R, Chodick G, Shalev V, Leshno M, Kimhi O, Goldberg A.
Source
Allergy and Clinical Immunology Unit, Meir Medical Center, Kfar Saba, Israel.
Abstract
Background: Chronic urticaria (CU) is a common disease in which most cases were considered to be idiopathic. Recent evidence indicates that at least a subset of cases of chronic idiopathic urticaria are autoimmune in origin.
Objective: We aimed to characterize the association between CU, autoimmune diseases, and autoimmune/inflammatory serologic markers in a large unselected population.
Methods: Data on 12,778 patients given a diagnosis of CU by either allergy or dermatology specialists during 17 years in a large health maintenance organization in Israel were collected. For each patient, we collected information on diagnosis of major, well-defined autoimmune diseases and autoimmunity- and inflammatory-related serologic markers. Similar data were collected for a control group comprised of 10,714 patients who visited dermatologists, family physicians, or allergy specialists and had no indication of CU.
Results: Having CU was associated with an increased odds ratio for hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and antithyroid antibodies. Female patients with CU had a significantly higher incidence of rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren syndrome, celiac disease, type I diabetes mellitus, and systemic lupus erythematosus, mostly diagnosed during the 10 years after the diagnosis of CU. High mean platelet volume, positive rheumatoid factor, and antinuclear antibodies were all significantly more prevalent in patients with CU.
Conclusions: A strong association was found between CU and major autoimmune diseases. A common pathogenic mechanism is implied by the high prevalence of autoantibodies and the existence of a chronic inflammatory process expressed by the high mean platelet volume. These findings have implications for the diagnosis, management, and prognosis of patients with CU.

Pediatr Diabetes. 2008 Oct;9(5):508-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5448.2008.00403.x. Epub 2008 May 7.
Type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, and chronic urticaria.
Hyman SJ, Shreffler WG, Rapaport R.
Source
Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.
Abstract
A 12-yr-old boy initially presented with chronic urticaria. Autoimmune thyroid disease was then diagnosed during routine evaluation. He developed type 1 diabetes shortly after thyroid hormone replacement was initiated. This case emphasizes the importance of routine screening for other autoimmune disorders in patients in whom one disorder is already present.

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 May;115(5):1088-9.
Autoimmune chronic urticaria associated with type 1 diabetes and Graves' disease.
Asero R, Orsatti A, Tedeschi A, Lorini M.

Sincerely,
Phil Lieberman, M.D.

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology