5 types of di­a­betes


Diabetic Living - - CONTENTS -

Break­ing news!

Across the world, there are cur­rently about 425 mil­lion peo­ple liv­ing with di­a­betes, all of whom have ei­ther type 1 – an auto-im­mune con­di­tion – or type 2, af­fected by a com­bi­na­tion of ge­net­ics and lifestyle fac­tors (for more de­tails on each, see page 9). How­ever, a new study pub­lished in The Lancet Di­a­betes & En­docrinol­ogy re­veals that di­a­betes is much more com­plex than once thought.

Pre­dict­ing the risk of se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions and suit­able treat­ment sug­ges­tions, the dis­cov­ery of five types of di­a­betes – in­stead of two – was iden­ti­fied by a study con­ducted by Lund Uni­ver­sity Di­a­betes Cen­tre in Swe­den and the In­sti­tute for Molec­u­lar Medicine Fin­land.

Re­searchers stud­ied an ar­ray of mea­sure­ments, in­clud­ing in­sulin re­sis­tance, blood glu­cose lev­els and age at on­set of ill­ness, in al­most 15,000 pa­tients across the two Nordic coun­tries.

“This is the first step to­wards per­son­alised treat­ment of di­a­betes,” says Leif Groop, physi­cian and pro­fes­sor of Di­a­betes and En­docrinol­ogy at Lund Uni­ver­sity in Swe­den.

Through the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of five clus­ters, re­searchers found that type 2 could be sep­a­rated into four cat­e­gories, with sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter­is­tics and com­pli­ca­tion risks; all of which could help health care teams to pro­vide bet­ter treat­ment op­tions for pa­tients in the fu­ture.

“The most in­sulin-re­sis­tant pa­tients [Group 3] have the most to gain from the new di­ag­nos­tics as they are the ones who are cur­rently most in­cor­rectly treated,” says Prof Groop.

Al­though this dis­cov­ery could cause a shift in how di­a­betes is viewed and treated in the fu­ture, the study is cur­rently solely based on peo­ple from Swe­den and Fin­land, and will take some

time be­fore the find­ings will af­fect how peo­ple with di­a­betes are treated on a broader scale.

“The longer the study is run­ning, the more and bet­ter data we’ll get,” says Emma Ah­lqvist, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at Lund Uni­ver­sity.

Re­searchers have sev­eral stud­ies un­der­way based on the data al­ready ac­quired, and plan on launch­ing sim­i­lar stud­ies fo­cus­ing on dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ties in coun­tries such as In­dia and China.

“This will give us even bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties to tailor the treat­ment to each in­di­vid­ual,” says Ah­lqvist.

Cur­rent di­ag­nos­tics and clas­si­fi­ca­tion of

di­a­betes are in­suf­fi­cient and un­able to pre­dict fu­ture com­pli­ca­tions or choice of treat­ment

– Leif Groop

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