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Home Industry News Type 1 diabetes ‘frequently misdiagnosed in adults’

Type 1 diabetes ‘frequently misdiagnosed in adults’

1st December 2017

Type 1 diabetes may frequently be getting misdiagnosed among adults due to an underestimation of how common the condition can be, according to a new study.

The University of Exeter Medical School study has analysed data from the UK Biobank, revealing that adults are just as likely to develop type 1 diabetes as children, with more than 40 percent of type 1 diabetes cases occurring after the age of 30.

Despite this, type 1 diabetes is often regarded as a "disease of childhood", meaning that many sufferers are initially thought to have type 2 diabetes at first, and do not receive treatment with insulin to control blood sugar levels.

On average, it takes a year for those with type 1 diabetes who have been misdiagnosed with type 2 to receive the insulin treatment they need, putting them at risk of experiencing potentially fatal diabetic ketoacidosis.

Dr Richard Oram, a senior lecturer at the University of Exeter and consultant physician, said: "The assumption among many doctors is that adults presenting with the symptoms of diabetes will have type 2, but this misconception can lead to misdiagnosis with potentially serious consequences."

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