New Way to Classify Adult-Onset Diabetes, Explained

New Way to Classify Adult-Onset Diabetes, Explained

New Way to Classify Adult-Onset Diabetes, Explained

With the new research's five categories instead of two types, treatments could be more personalized.

Critics of the research point out that the study was only of Scandinavians and does not take into account increased risk among populations in South Asia, where they are twice as likely to develop diabetes compared with people from white European backgrounds.

Severe autoimmune diabetes, broadly similar to type 1 in that it affected patients at a younger age leaving them seemingly unable to produce insulin. Type 1 is an autoimmune condition where the body mistakenly attacks the pancreas, stopping it from producing insulin.

Group 1, SAID (severe autoimmune diabetes): essentially corresponds to type 1 diabetes and LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes in adults), and is characterised by onset at young age, poor metabolic control, impaired insulin production and the presence of GADA antibodies.

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in Yorkshire has reached an estimated 294,455, according to new analysis released by Diabetes UK.

Still, the findings seem to be a positive step toward improved treatment of diabetes, which affects more than 420 million people worldwide. Researchers replicated the findings in three further independent cohorts: the Scania Diabetes Registry (n = 1,466), All New Diabetics in Uppsala (n = 844) and Diabetes Registry Vaasa (n = 3,485). To demonstrate their argument, they analyzed health data from almost 15,000 Swedish people with type 2 diabetes, focusing on six variables that had been measured and recorded at the time of their diagnosis: age, body mass index, the presence of beta-cell antibodies, level of metabolic control and measures of beta-cell function and insulin resistance.

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Scientists from Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden and the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Finland said the five types need different treatments.

The team, from Lund University and the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Helsinki, examined data from 14,625 patients in five cohorts between January 2008 and November 2016.

The researchers say their classification system could be helpful for both newly diagnosed patients as well as those who have had type 2 diabetes for many years. 11 to 17 per cent showed severe insulin resistance and a high risk of kidney disease. Diabetic ketoacidosis was more frequent in clusters 1 and 2, whereas cluster 3 had the highest prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Of this, a majority - 39 to 47 per cent - were elderly people with mild diabetes while 18-20 per cent were obese. They were also among the lowest proportion of patients taking the drug metformin, usually prescribed to treat Type 2 diabetes, but the study says they would get the most benefit from it.

However, this study alone is not sufficient to lead to changes in diabetes treatment guidelines, as it was only based on groups of diabetes patients in Scandinavia. "For example, whether we'd find the same subtypes in people of different ethnicity or nationality".

The first cluster - defined as severe autoimmune diabetes - was the least common, with only 6.4% of the cohort fitting this type. These subgroups had significantly different patient characteristics and risk of diabetic complications.

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