Health Care

Study identifies 5 types of diabetes instead of 2

Study identifies 5 types of diabetes instead of 2

Diabetes is actually made up of five separate diseases, according to a study published by scientists who say their discovery will help bring about a new age of targeted and personalized treatment for a condition that affects one in 11 adults worldwide.

Specialists said the study was a messenger without bounds of diabetes mind yet changes to treatment would not be quick.

"Current diagnostics and classification of diabetes are insufficient and unable to predict future complications or choice of treatment".

Dr Victoria Salem, an advisor and clinical researcher at Imperial College London, said most pros realized that type 1 and type 2 was "not a horribly exact characterization framework".

She included: "This examination steps toward separating type 2 diabetes in more detail, yet regardless we have to find out about these subtypes before we can comprehend what this implies for individuals living with the condition". They came up with instead of five subtypes, which are classified on the basis of the development of the disease and its complications.

From that analysis, they identified five "clusters" of disease with significantly different characteristics.

The team say the findings shed light on why some diabetics respond very differently to treatment than others, adding that it could help identify those who might be at high risk of complications, and lead to tailored treatment of the disease.

The first of these - severe insulin-deficient diabetes - was shown to include people with high blood sugar, low insulin production and moderate insulin resistance. In type 1, the more severe type that accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all diabetes cases, the immune system destroys cells that produce insulin. Type 1 is an autoimmune condition where the body mistakenly attacks the pancreas, stopping it from producing insulin.

Around one-fifth of patients belonged to cluster 4, defined by a presence of obesity without insulin resistance.

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Cluster 5 are patients with mild, age-related diabetes who developed symptoms at a late age, hence diabetes was not as severe.

The first study - All New Diabetics in Scania (ANDIS) - recruited 14,625 people newly diagnosed with diabetes from across 177 general practices in Scania County, Sweden, between 2008 and 2016. This cluster had the highest incidence of diabetic retinopathy.

The fifth and most common cluster, which comprised almost 40% of patients with adult-onset diabetes, was marked by an older age of diabetes onset, without as poor a metabolic profile as other clusters.

Another group facing serious complications was composed of relatively young, insulin-deficient patients.

These findings are based on initial results of ANDIS - a study covering all newly diagnosed diabetics in southern Sweden.

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition controlled by insulin injections. Of this, a majority - 39 to 47 per cent - were elderly people with mild diabetes while 18-20 per cent were obese. Essentially the same as type 1.

They believe that the study might help tailor and target treatment and lay the foundation for precision medicine in the future.

Researchers did not observe between-cluster differences for age- and sex-adjusted coronary event and stroke risk, and no genetic variant was associated with all the clusters.