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Diabetes can be classified into 5 types (not just type 1 and type 2): Lancet Research

This could provide a powerful tool to individualise treatment regimens.

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Updated : March 3, 2018 10:47 AM IST

All of us are aware that diabetes is broadly classified into two main categories -- type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the body lacks insulin due to non-functioning pancreatic cells. Hence, people with this type of diabetes require insulin from outside. However, people with type 2 diabetes are those in which there is less production of insulin due to defunct pancreatic cells, thereby failing to meet the demands of the body. Also read Type 2 Diabetes can be cured in the near future, says Dr Pradeep Gadge. But as per a latest research in Diabetes published in The Lancet, Diabetes and Endocrinology, people suffering from this disease can be separated into five different categories. These clusters include:

#1. Cluster 1: Commonly known as type 1 diabetes, this cluster includes people with severe autoimmune diabetes. It usually affects people when young and healthy but an autoimmunity leaves them with inability to produce insulin, the hormone that regulates the blood glucose levels.

#2. Cluster 2: This group involves people who suffer from severe insulin deficiency. Unlike people in cluster 1, the immune system is not at fault but the body fails to produce the required amount of insulin to meet body's demands. Hence, these people are young and have a healthy weight but the pancreas struggle to make the insulin. People in cluster 2 (insulin deficient) had the highest risk of diabetic retinopathy.

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#3. Cluster 3: People belonging to this category suffer from severe insulin-resistant diabetes and are usually overweight. Moreover, the body is unable to respond to the insulin produced in the body, leading to diabetes. As people are most resistant to insulin, they also had significantly higher risk of diabetic kidney disease, revealed the study.

#4. Cluster 4: This group belong to people with mild obesity-related diabetes, people who are extremely overweight but are metabolically closer to normal unlike those in cluster 3.

#5. Cluster 5: The last group includes people who suffer from mild diabetes. However people in this cluster are comparatively older than other group, age-related diabetes, and the disease is on a milder side.

The aim of the study was to refine the classification. The patients were classified into five subgroups with differing disease progression and risk of diabetic complications. This could provide a powerful tool to individualise treatment regimens, identify individuals with increased risk of complications at diagnosis and target early treatment to patients.

With inputs from the research study in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

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