Researchers Say 3 Kinds of Type 2 Diabetes May Exist
Three specific profiles - or subgroups - of type 2 diabetes may exist, according to researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
After examining the medical records of over 11,000 patients, the team found that individuals may fall into one of three categories if they have type 2 diabetes. These groups can share unique genetic traits and health challenges, the authors report.
The first category includes younger, highly obese patients that are most likely to experience diabetes-related blindness and kidney complications. The second category includes those with the highest risk for cancer and heart disease, while the third group encompasses patients with various health problems, like allergies, mental illness, heart disease or HIV.
The categories were determined by results researchers garnered from blood tests.
"It's almost like building up a social network, where you connect people because they share the same friends or the same interests, only in this case it was similar blood test results, things like that," said study author Joel Dudley.
More effective treatments?
While the authors admit the patient sample size was small - 2,551 of the 11,000+ patients in the study had type 2 diabetes - they suggest this type of "data mining" could reveal ways to offer more effective treatments based on what type of health complications a person is most prone to experience when they have diabetes.
"With the decreasing cost in genetic sequencing, we're seeing an increase in collection of genetic data," Dudley said. "The more you can show the utility of genetics in informing medicine, the faster the adoption of this type of personalized medicine will be."
The study is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
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