Methods: Autoantibodies against insulin (IAA), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GADA) and tyrosine phosphatase IA2 (IA2A) were measured in sera from 448 recent onset patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) subdivided according to sex (194 female and 254 male) and age at onset (134 patients diagnosed before 10 years, 187 between 10 and 20 years, 66 between 20 and 30 years and 61 over 30 years. Results: Autoantibodies were more frequent in female DM patients (93.8 vs. 86.6%, p = 0.013) due to an increased prevalence of both GADA (86.1 vs. 70.1%) and IA2A (59.3 vs. 49.2%), with GADA levels also significantly higher in women (0.24 vs. 0.18 U, p = 0.0003). When age groups were compared, there was a reduction in prevalence in patients over 20 years for both IAA (70% for patients diagnosed under 20 and 36% for older patients) and IA2A (65 and 25%, respectively). These differences also affected IAA levels, with the highest antibody titres in the youngest group (1,214.1 nU/ml in children under 10 compared to 546.9, 345.6 and 341.1 nU/ml in the subsequent groups; p < 10<sup>–4</sup>). GADA prevalence did not differ significantly between age groups but, nevertheless, autoantibody levels were highest among the oldest type 1 DM patients (0.327 U compared to 0.216, 0.197 and 0.176 U in the decreasing age groups; p < 10<sup>–4</sup>). Conclusion: There are sex- and age-related differences affecting the presence and/or titres of β cell autoantibodies. We speculate that these differences could reflect the severity and specificity of the autoimmune attack against the endocrine pancreas and might influence the rate of progression to type 1 DM or the risk of developing other autoimmune diseases.