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Type 2 Diabetes Management More Difficult with Early Onset

Younger age groups may be at higher risk in developing complications, possibly due to later addition of statin medications….

Type 2 diabetes can occur at a wide range of ages. Recent data has shown the success rate of managing the disease may vary depending on the age of diagnosis. The onset of diabetes can impact the management of a patient"s diabetes due to the different methods of treatment.

According to an ongoing prospective study from the Joint Asia Diabetes Evaluation, patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a younger age had poorer management of their disease than patients who were diagnosed at a later age. People who developed diabetes before the age of 40 are considered young onset and the ones who developed diabetes at the age of 41 and older are late onset.

The study also found people diagnosed with diabetes before 40 years old were more likely to develop complications. Compared to patients developing diabetes older than 40 years old, these patients had a higher HbA1c and the chances of them achieving HbA1c levels less than 7% were very unlikely. They were also associated with high LDL levels and were at higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.

Researchers believe the rationale behind younger onset of diabetes developing more complications than the late onsets were associated with statin therapy. Younger onset was less likely to receive statins or renin angiotensin system inhibitors for organ protection.

More aggressive approach is suggested for patients developing diabetes younger than 40 years old. These patients have longer disease duration and their findings were found to be consistent across all the countries according to the researchers.

Practice Pearls:
  • Statin therapy should be initiated to all diabetic patients regardless of the age of onset to prevent long term complications associated with the disease.
  • Younger onset of diabetes diagnosis was shown to have poorer management of diabetes compared to later onset of diagnosis.
  • Finding from JADE study suggested the results were consistent across the countries

Yeung RO, Zhang Y, Luk A, et al. Metabolic profiles and treatment gaps in young onset type 2 diabetes in Asia: a cross sectional study of a prospective cohort. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2014 July 28