Young type 2 diabetics can develop health complications earlier than type 1 diabetics

by Barbara Hewitt on November 1, 2013

Diabetic complications develop earlier among young people with type 2 diabetes compared to type 1 diabetes, researchers have found.

Type 1 diabetes is generally more prevalent in young people and it is often assumed that complications may only become evident over many years and the medical world has presumed that a schedule of complication monitoring should be the same for both types of diabetes.

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The study found that those with type 2 diabetes had a 47% higher risk of any complications than those with type 1 diabetes

New research from the University of Manitoba in Canada suggests that young people with type 2 diabetes should be monitored more aggressively and intervention for complications may be necessary earlier.

The research team used data from Manitoba’s Diabetes Education Resource for Children and Adolescents and the Population Health Research Data Repository to investigate the time course and risk factors for microvascular and macrovascular complications in 342 young people with type 2 diabetes.

They also looked at a control group of 1,011 young people with type 1 diabetes and a matched group of 1,710 with no diabetes.

They looked at those with type 2 diabetes for a median average of 4.4 years, those with type 1 diabetes for 6.7 years and those with no diabetes for six years. At the last available follow up, the average age was between 15 and 16 years.

After taking various factors into account, the study found that those with type 2 diabetes had a 47% higher risk of any complications than those with type 1 diabetes.

‘This study therefore highlights the fact that youth is not protective against the multi system effects of type 2 diabetes, and although not directly evaluated, the time course to complications parallels that seen in adults,’ the study report published in the journal Diabetes Care said.

Compared with non-diabetic controls, those with type 2 diabetes had a 6.15 fold higher risk of developing vascular disease, a 6.26 fold higher risk of developing microvascular disease, and a 4.44 fold higher risk of developing macrovascular disease.

They also had a 19.49 fold higher risk of ophthalmologic disease, a 16.13 fold higher risk of renal disease, a 2.93 fold higher risk of neurologic disease, and a 6.25 fold higher risk of peripheral vascular disease, compared to young people without diabetes.

The study also found that major complications were rare in those type 1 diabetes, but occurred in 1.1% of those with type 2 diabetes at 10 years, 26% at 15 years, and 47.9% at 20 years after diagnosis. Adults with type 2 diabetes typically manifest significant complications 15 to 20 years after their diagnosis.

 


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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