Experts push to reclassify diabetes types

Researchers propose 5 distinct types of adult-onset diabetes

A Study Proposes Five New Distinct Types of Adult-Onset Diabetes

Cluster 1: This is a severe autoimmune form of diabetes - close to type 1 diabetes - affecting around 6% to 15% of participants. He also added that future studies should investigate the effects of age on diabetes in patients.

Diabetes is actually not one or two, but five separate diseases, scientists say.

Chris Askew, Diabetes UK chief executive, said: "Diagnoses of diabetes have doubled in just 20 years and that should give all of us serious pause for thought".

Where did the story come from?

What kind of research was this?

Cluster 5: Mild diabetes among mostly older patients, accounting for 34 to 47% of cases.

The rest were fairly young and not obese, but had severe forms of diabetes. The person is completely unable to produce insulin and relies on lifelong insulin.

"If you would like to find out more about the programme or believe you may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, please visit your GP or talk to your practice nurse for more information". Management ranges from dietary control or medication through to daily insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes - usually diagnosed in adults - develops when the body can not produce enough insulin the right way.

What did the research involve?

They were followed up after an average of 4 years.

Diabetes Registry Vaasa (DIREVA) included 5,107 people with diabetes recruited in western Finland between 2009 and 2014.

The number of people diagnosed with the condition across the United Kingdom has reached nearly 3.7 million - an increase of 1.9 million since 1998.


The growing concern of type-2 diabetes needs no introduction - so, identifying a drug that is already in circulation that might help to fight the condition would be a welcome discovery.

The researchers identified 5 main disease clusters.

The categories were discovered by considering six different metrics, including a measure of blood glucose control, age at diagnosis, BMI, the presence of certain antibodies linked to autoimmune diabetes, and a measure of insulin sensitivity.

Nonetheless, he called these findings "compelling" and said that they provide "strong rationale to investigate the genetic architecture and molecular mechanisms that lead to heterogeneity in the presentation and progression of diabetes in adults".

Severe insulin-resistant diabetes patients, generally overweight and producing insulin, which their body was no longer responsive to.

Another mild diabetes form related to obesity (affecting between 18 and 23 percent of the cases). Identified in 39% of the people in ANDIS.

Some of the overlapping features include the fact that clusters 3, 4 and 5 were prescribed similar anti-diabetic treatment and they responded well.

How did the researchers interpret the results?

Breaking popular perceptions about there being only two types of Diabetes - Type I which onsets in childhood and Type II which is more of a lifestyle disorder - a study by medical journal The Lancet has gone on to say that there are at least five types of adult diabetes. Also, the patients were all of Scandinavian ancestry - meaning more genetic diversity could show more facets of the disease types.

Improved understanding may allow necessarily treatment to be tailored and help us recognise which patients are more likely to develop complications.

The researchers, led by experts at Lund University, last night said the findings should prompt a "paradigm shift" in the way people treat diabetes.

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