Early-onset type 2 diabetes linked to a shorter lifespan, diabetes experts say

By Editor
28th April 2023
Diabetes UK, Latest news Research Type 2 diabetes

People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during adolescence are likely to die a decade earlier than those who develop the condition later in life, two diabetes specialists have revealed.

Professor Melanie Davies CBE, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester and co-founder of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, highlighted the link between early-onset type 2 diabetes and a reduced life expectancy during her presentation today at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference (DUKPC) 2023.

Dr Shivani Misra, at Imperial College London, also identified this issue during her session at the conference and said: “A diagnosis early in life if associated with worst complications.

“Early-onset type 2 diabetes is associated more with a reduced life expectancy compared to late-onset type 2 diabetes.”

Research presented at DUKPC 2023 also shows that people with early-onset type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular complications and they are 25 per cent more likely to have depression compared to those living without the condition.

The experts are now urging healthcare professionals to work together and to focus their attention on providing tailored care for people with early-onset type 2 diabetes.

According to Professor Davies CBE and Dr Misra, people with early-onset type 2 diabetes are “invisible” and more guidance surrounding the condition is needed.

Professor Davies CBE said: “We need to be much more aggressive at managing cardiovascular risk factors in people with early-onset type 2 diabetes.”

Dr Misra added: “We need to shine a lens on younger adults with early-onset type 2 diabetes who are invisible in our care pathways.”

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