Health Care

Scandinavian study suggests there are five types of adult-onset diabetes

Scandinavian study suggests there are five types of adult-onset diabetes

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.

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. Four classifications have been proposed in Type II Diabetes. They looked at six variables that are often used to determine the type and severity of a specific diabetes case, from the age of diagnosis to BMI to the level of insulin resistance.

They say this supports the idea that the 5 types of diabetes are not simply different stages of the same disease.

Emma Ahlqvist, Ph.D., from Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues used data from the Swedish All New Diabetics in Scania cohort to do data-driven, cluster analysis in 8,980 patients with newly diagnosed diabetes. Severe Insulin-Resistant Diabetes (SIRD) involved the highest levels of insulin resistance and the highest risk of diabetic kidney disease.

Type 2 diabetes is to a great extent observed as an illness of poor way of life as muscle to fat ratio can influence the way the insulin works.

"Current diagnostics and classification of diabetes are insufficient and unable to predict future complications or choice of treatment", said lead author Leif Groop, an endocrinologist at the Lund University Diabetes Center in Sweden as well as the Folkhalsan Research Centre in Finland, in a statement.

Cluster 1 - severe autoimmune diabetes, similar to the classical type 1, affected younger people who were otherwise healthy. The more common form, type 2, in which little insulin is produced or does not trigger glucose uptake by the body's cells, generally develops later in life and is linked to obesity. It is usually diagnosed in childhood and is caused by the body's immune system wrongly destroying cells in the pancreas that make insulin.

Mild obesity-related diabetes (MOD): characterised by obesity but not insulin resistance.

"Diabetes is actually five separate diseases", reports BBC News on a study looking at almost 9,000 people with diabetes in Sweden and Finland.

In addition to a more refined classification, the researchers also discovered that the different groups are more or less at risk of developing various secondary diseases.

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

BRADFORD district has the highest number of people in the United Kingdom suffering from diabetes, according to latest figures.

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

The researchers also want similar studies in China and India with people of different ethnic backgrounds. Diabetic eye disease was most common in this group. Of this, a majority - 39 to 47 per cent - were elderly people with mild diabetes while 18-20 per cent were obese.

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

As for genetic links, there were no variants associated with all the clusters.