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The Five Types of Diabetes

Our recent advertisement on the Tube uses the strapline “Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, Type You diabetes”. Its timeliness was captured by a recent Scandinavian report headlined in The Times as “There are five types of diabetes, not two”. At The London Diabetes Centre we have always believed that every patient’s diabetes should be individually diagnosed and treated.

The authors defined five different Type 2 diabetes “clusters” identified using measurements that are mostly available at The London Diabetes Centre although not routinely available through GPs.

This study is important because it helps us understand how subsets of diabetes patients should have specific monitoring and be prescribed different drugs.

In best clinical practice with an experienced diabetologist, this puts the patient’s individual diabetes profile at the centre of the treatment discussion, and is most likely to lead to successful long-term treatment.

Governments and those who need to dispense care by using guidelines will also find it valuable when faced with scarce resource allocation.

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