Dr Gillian Hawthorne of Newcastle Diabetes Centre and colleagues conducted a study examining the demographics of people with newly diagnosed type-1 diabetes. They presented their findings at the Diabetes UK conference in London last week.
The researchers found that of the 79 patients with type-1 diabetes who presented to the centre during their two-year study, 20 per cent were aged 50 or over. ‘Type-1 diabetes needs to be considered in older patients,’ they said. ‘With the increase in the aging population, presentation of type-1 diabetes in older patients is likely to become more common,’ they added.
Of the 13 patients with type-1 diabetes who presented to the centre, 10 had ketonuria at presentation, six required admission to hospital and three had ketoacidosis.
‘[Type-1 diabetes] should be considered in all older people with normal BMI newly presenting with new-onset diabetes,’ they concluded.
Last month, the RCGP and NHS Diabetes launched a new classification scheme for diabetes after an audit of one million patient records showed that around 40% of diabetes patients had classification anomalies in their data.