In March, a study was published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology suggesting that diabetes should be classified into five types rather than the current two. The reason is to enhance the condition's early diagnosis and treatment. Diabetes patients in Texas and across the U.S. will want to know more about what the researchers say.
For the study, researchers gathered newly diagnosed diabetes patients into clusters based on variables like how old they were when they were diagnosed and how much their body mass index is. After measuring factors like medication time and the risk that each patient had for diabetes complications, researchers found that the patients can be divided into five specific subcategories, three severe and two mild.
The first and most severe form they dubbed severe autoimmune diabetes. One defining characteristic among patients in this group was the presence of glutamate decarboxylase autoantibodies, an enzyme that points toward type 1 diabetes. The second group is GADA-negative and has been labeled as severe insulin-deficient diabetes. The third is severe insulin-resistant diabetes.
The fourth group showed no such resistance to insulin but was defined by the obesity of its patients; this group was dubbed mild obesity-related diabetes. Finally, mild age-related diabetes contained the most number of study subjects, with over 3,5000 patients. These were older patients with metabolism issues like the fourth group.
While most clinicians recognize that the distinction between type 1 and type 2 diabetes can be too broad, there's no sign that they will switch to a five-group classification. This means that the risk of misdiagnoses will remain high. When this results in a worsened medical condition, patients might want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see what legal remedies might be available.