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Question:

From Georgia, USA:

How common is it to become Type 1 after the age of 40? My initial incident was severe ketoacidosis.

Answer:

Generally speaking, you must remember that there are mainly two types of diabetes mellitus: Type 1 autoimmune insulin-dependent, thin, and Type 2, non-insulin-dependent and generally overweight.

The risk for Type 1 diabetes varies by geographical area; in Caucasoid population (such as European and of European descent), it is higher until early 20's although it generally peaks around 5-9 and 10-14 years of age and declines quite sharply after the 30's. The average risk from birth to 30 years of age in European population is around 10/100,000.

Type 2 diabetes behaves the opposite way, presenting most often after age 40, its risk increasing as the subject gets older. Therefore, 40' are the critical age for possible bias between the two types although severe diabetic ketoacidosis is a typical marker of severe insulin deficiency (Type 1). This overlapping is one of the most important reasons why risk estimates based upon registries for the various age group are precisely defined before 30-35 years of age whilst they are still lacking for persons older than 40's (although much lower than in younger people). Prospective surveys are currently on their way in Europe to better define risk for different types of diabetes in older age groups.

MS

Original posting 4 Apr 1998
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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