Diabetes is five different diseases, says new research

Diabetes is five different diseases, says new research

But researchers in Finland and Sweden say that there is a more complex picture, and that the results of their study will usher in a new period of personalized medications, the BBC reports.

Cluster 5: Mild age related diabetes, affecting 39.6 per cent of patients.

Dr Emily Burns, head of research communications at Diabetes UK told The Guardian that while the research was promising, there was still more digging to be done: "We still need to know more about these subtypes before we can understand what this means for people living with the condition", she said.

After analyzing the data of almost 15,000 diabetics using information taken from four registries in Sweden and Finland, the team found that Type 2 is actually made up of four categories, including two of the most severe types of the disease. It hits young people whose bodies struggle to produce insulin, but the immune system is not at fault.

Diabetes is now divided into two major groups - Type-1 diabetes which accounts for around 10 per cent of the cases and Type-2 diabetes which accounts for 85-90 per cent of the cases.

The researchers felt refining the classification to recognise other types of diabetes could help to personalise treatment and identify those who may be at higher risk of specific complications.

Diabetes is now divided into type 1 diabetes (approximately 10%), type 2 diabetes (85-90%) and several less common diseases like latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) and secondary diabetes.

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

Severe insulin-resistant diabetes (SIRD): characterised by insulin resistance and high BMI.




"More accurately diagnosing diabetes could give us valuable insights into how it will develop over time, allowing us to predict and treat complications before they develop", said lead author Professor Leif Groop, Lund University Diabetes Centre. This development was made by the experts from Lund University.

It's also possible that researchers will find that diabetes, specifically the subtypes that would fall into type 2 diabetes, can be classified into many more clusters than just five.

This final cluster sees patients who developed diabetes at significantly older ages than other groups, with the condition taking a milder form in this case. It is the disease of individuals whose blood glucose or blood sugar levels are too high.

A further 12.3 million people are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, according to the charity's analysis.

Specialists said the study was a messenger without bounds of diabetes mind yet changes to treatment would not be quick. South Asian people are also more likely to develop the disease at a younger age. The five types found had different characteristics, with different complications, and called for different treatment needs.

The first cluster - defined as severe autoimmune diabetes - was the least common, with only 6.4% of the cohort fitting this type.

Cluster 4 are the patients with mild, obesity-related diabetes who are closer to those in cluster 3 in terms of insulin production.

The researchers are also planning to launch similar studies in China and India with people of different ethnic backgrounds.

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