High complication burden in young adults with type 2 diabetes
medwireNews: A small study shows high complication rates in young people with type 2 diabetes.
The 25 patients were aged an average of 22 years, with an average diabetes duration of 5 years, yet 48% had microvascular or macrovascular complications.
The findings were presented today at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference in London, UK. Presenter Mohammed Shafqat (University of Birmingham, UK) noted that these patients are of working age, but living with diabetes complications from early in life, highlighting the need for dedicated services for young type 2 diabetes patients.
Microvascular complications, such as retinopathy, were present in six patients and four had macrovascular complications, mostly angina. Other complications included non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in five patients, hypertension in three, and hyperlipidemia in two.
“This kind of picture suggests that obesity is the major contributing factor to cause most of these complications,” said Shafqat. Obesity was present in 80% of the patients.
The patients were all attendees of a clinic for young patients (18 to <40 years) with type 2 diabetes. Clinic visits were every 6 months, but six of the patients only attended annually, implying non-compliance with diabetes treatment.
Of note, a high proportion (60%) of the patients were of South Asian origin, suggesting a particular issue with diabetes risk in this community.
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