Scandinavian researchers say a new classification would mean better treatment for patients.
The results, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, showed the patients could be separated into five distinct clusters.
- Cluster 1 – severe autoimmune diabetes is broadly the same as the classical type 1 – it hit people when they were young, seemingly healthy and an immune disease left them unable to produce insulin
- Cluster 2 – severe insulin-deficient diabetes patients initially looked very similar to those in cluster 1 – they were young, had a healthy weight and struggled to make insulin, but the immune system was not at fault
- Cluster 3 – severe insulin-resistant diabetes patients were generally overweight and making insulin but their body was no longer responding to it
- Cluster 4 – mild obesity-related diabetes was mainly seen in people who were very overweight but metabolically much closer to normal than those in cluster 3
- Cluster 5 – mild age-related diabetes patients developed symptoms when they were significantly older than in other groups and their disease tended to be milder
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