Type 2 diabetes patients may be divided into three distinct groups since the condition does not affect each individual the same way.
In the study, the researchers looked at medical records of approximately 2,500 people with Type 2 diabetes, and analysed the data on the people’s health, genetic information, and symptoms. The findings showed that there were three distinct groups of people with the condition, and each group had different problems related to Type 2 diabetes.
Joel Dudley, director of biomedical informatics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said that there are statistically significant differences between Type 2 diabetes patients.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Type 2 diabetes is present in about 90 to 95 percent of the 29 million people in the United States who have diabetes.
In patients who have Type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to produce insulin, which leads to high levels of blood glucose (sugar). Those who are overweight or obese, those who do not exercise enough, as well as people of older age have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The researchers made some connections based on the patients’ similarities to one another. Someone with kidney disease and a high body mass index (BMI) would be connected to another patient with the same characteristics.
Three different groups were then put together by the researchers called: subtype 1, subtype 2, and subtype 3.
Patients in the first group (subtype 1) were younger, had kidney disease, a higher risk of obesity, lower counts of white blood cells, and retina problems. Those in the second group (subtype 2) were less likely to be obese, had lower boxy mass indexes (BMIs), and had a higher predisposition to heart disease and cancer.
In the third group (subtype 3), the patients had an increased risk of allergies and mental illness, and many of them suffered from heart disease.
“If you’re in the high-cancer-risk group, maybe I’m cutting in half the time between [cancer] screenings,” Dudley stated.
If these findings can be confirmed for other Type 2 diabetes patients, that may help doctors offer new ways to manage the condition, depending on which subtype (1, 2, or 3) the patients belong to.
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