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Study confirms sharp rise in type 2 diabetes amongst young

17 May 2013

The number of young people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has seen the sharpest rise over the last twenty years compared to a background of a general increase across the board, new research has found.

The research, published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, examined the published data describing the incidence of newly diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes between 1991 and 2010.

The team from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine found a significant increase in the overall incidence of type 2 diabetes, with a marked increase among younger people aged 40 and under.   

"We have known for some time that the incidence  new cases and prevalence the total number of people of type 2 diabetes has been increasing in the UK," said Professor Craig Currie from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, who led the research.

"We also know that there has been an increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. This is thought to be dependent on many factors such as obesity, diet and family history amongst many other factors. 

"By analysing routine NHS data we’ve managed to confirm this and show an increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes in the UK population, matched by an overall decrease in the average age of diagnosis.

"We also found that the incidence of type 2 diabetes was higher for males after the ages of 40 and slightly higher for females aged under 40," he adds.

Irrespective of the causes, the results show that over the last twenty years, type 2 diabetes can now be considered common amongst relatively young people, which could have major implications for greater health problems in later life.   

"Early onset of type 2 diabetes could result in longer disease duration and lead to an increased risk of developing health complications," according to Professor Currie.

"This will undoubtedly place an increasing burden on healthcare resources and result in poorer quality of life. An earlier age of onset may also ultimately lead to premature death," he adds.

The retrospective cohort study tracked those patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between 1991 and 2010 using data from the UK general practice. Patients were then grouped into five-year intervals by year of diagnosis and age at diagnosis to examine trends over time.

Professor Richard Donnelly, Editor of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism said: "This is an important study which highlights the continued rise of type 2 diabetes as a major public health challenge for the UK. The results are likely to mirror similar trends in other European countries" 
 
-Ends-   

The incidence of type 2 diabetes in the United Kingdom from 1991 to 2010 was published in the journal of Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism on Friday 17th May. 

A copy of the paper is available at: 

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dom.12123 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dom.12123/full 

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities.  Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans.  Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff's three flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places. www.cardiff.ac.uk 

Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism: A Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
 
Launched in 1999, Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism: A Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics is the only interdisciplinary journal for high-quality research and reviews in the areas of diabetes, obesity and metabolism. It focuses on clinical and experimental pharmacology and therapeutics in any aspect of metabolic and endocrine disease, either in humans or animal and cellular systems. www.wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/dom 

For further information:

Chris Jones
Public Relations
Cardiff University
Tel: 029 20 874731
E-mail: jonesc83@cardiff.ac.uk