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Study Identifies Five Types of Diabetes, Not Just Two

04 March 2018

Researchers say the groupings held both for those with newly diagnosed diabetes and those who had long had the disease, further suggesting the five categories are not simply down to different stages of the same form of diabetes - although further work is needed to explore whether patients can move between the types.

Specialists said the study was a messenger without bounds of diabetes mind yet changes to treatment would not be quick. Severe Autoimmune Diabetes largely overlapped with the current Type 1 diagnosis. Generally speaking, the main difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is the cause of the high glucose levels wherein one is autoimmune in origin and the other in excess body weight.

Diabetes is now classified into Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Scientists say diabetes is five separate diseases, and treatment could be custom fitted to each frame. 11 to 17 per cent showed severe insulin resistance and a high risk of kidney disease.

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Cluster 3 (15.3 percent): Severe insulin resistant diabetes (SIRD) with insulin resistance and high BMI.

Researchers from Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden and the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Finland gathered data on nearly 15,000 patients from across five cohorts in both countries. The report comes from Emma Ahlqvist, PhD, of Lund University in Sweden, and her team and is published in the latest issue of the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. As in cluster 1, strikes young and healthy people, but the immune system isn't at fault. Diabetes - a group of metabolic imbalances which can be characterized by high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period of time - is usually split into Types 1 and 2.

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

This is a valuable study that suggests the diagnosis of diabetes may not be as simple as just types 1 and 2.

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Stemming from the All New Diabetics in Scania cohort, 8,980 Swedish patients newly diagnosed with diabetes were included in the hierarchical clustering.

Dr Waqas Tahir, GP and clinical lead for diabetes at Bradford Care Alliance, said: "Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges people face in Bradford district".

In the ANDIS study, blood samples were taken from people at registration, allowing the researchers to analyse their DNA and blood chemistry. These subgroups had significantly different patient characteristics and risk of diabetic complications. South Asian people are also more likely to develop the disease at a younger age.

"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". A new classification system could help doctors identify the people most at risk for complications, the study authors say, and could pave the way for more personalized and effective treatments. Cluster 5 (n = 3,513) was described as mild, age-related diabetes with older patients but only modest metabolic derangements, according to researchers. The clusters and associated complications will need to be verified in other populations, including other ethnicities that may have a different risk of diabetes, such as Asian populations.

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Study Identifies Five Types of Diabetes, Not Just Two