CHENNAI: A recent study published in medical journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology had suggested that there are sets of five subgroups of diabetes, against the current division of diabetes into two categories- type 1 diabetes (10 percent incidence) and type 2 diabetes (85-90 percent incidence).
However, a study by the medicos in Chennai also revealed that there are many other forms of diabetes that includes Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA), Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) and secondary diabetes, which are increasingly being recognised nowadays.
Type 2 diabetes normally affects adults and does not require insulin except in the more advanced stages and type 1 diabetes usually affects children and they require lifelong insulin injections daily.
Other than the type 1 and type 2, the genetic form of diabetes that affects children is MODY and happens due to a single genetic defect. Patients with MODY need to be diagnosed by 'genetic testing' to prevent being taken to type 1 diabetes due to similarities over age.
Dr V. Mohan emphasised on the need of diagnosing monogenic forms of diabetes, which is mistaken to be type 1 diabetes. “Patients can be wrongly diagnosed to have type 1 diabetes and advised to have unnecessary lifelong insulin injections. Once the diagnosis of MODY is confirmed, in most forms of MODY, insulin injections can be completely stopped and these patients can be treated with a very inexpensive sulphonylurea tablet which has been used for decades, for treating diabetes,” he said.
The study, based on a comprehensive genomic analysis of 289 individuals from India included 152 clinically diagnosed MODY cases and 137 normal glucose tolerance subjects (NGT). The study was conducted by senior diabetologist Dr V. Mohan and Dr Radha Venkatesan from Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) in Chennai with the support of medicos from California and healthcare research centre MedGenome.