Early Onset Type 2 Diabetes Linked to Higher Death Risk

Also linked to higher risk of kidney disease

TUESDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- The onset of type 2 diabetes in patients younger than age 20 is linked to a substantially increased risk of end-stage kidney disease, as well as death between 25 and 55 years of age, according to the results of a study of Native Americans reported in the July 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Meda Pavkov, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institutes of Health in Phoenix, and colleagues studied 1,856 members of the Gila River Indian community between 1965 and 2002, and analyzed the incidence of type 2 diabetes in patients first diagnosed when younger than 20 and in those diagnosed between ages 20 and 55.

The researchers found the rate of end-stage kidney disease in patients with youth-onset type 2 diabetes was 8.4 times higher than those between ages 25 and 34 years old, five times higher than in those 35 to 44 years of age, and four times higher than patients between ages 45 and 54 years. Similarly, death rates were twice as high in those with youth-onset type 2 diabetes than in those with older-onset diabetes.

"Because youth-onset diabetes mellitus leads to substantially increased complication rates and mortality in middle age, efforts should focus on preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes, delaying the onset of diabetic nephropathy, or both," the authors conclude.

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