Association of Type 1 Diabetes vs Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed During Childhood and Adolescence With Complications During Teenage Years and Young Adulthood

Key Points

Question  What is the prevalence of complications of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes among teenagers and young adults who had been diagnosed during childhood and adolescence?

Findings  In an observational study of 1746 patients with type 1 diabetes and 272 with type 2 diabetes with onset younger than 20 years, the prevalence of diabetic kidney disease, retinopathy, and peripheral neuropathy was significantly greater in patients with type 2 diabetes, even after adjustment for differences in hemoglobin A1clevel, body mass index, waist-height ratio, and mean arterial blood pressure.

Meaning  Among teenagers and young adults who had been diagnosed with diabetes during childhood and adolescence, the prevalence of complications was higher among those with type 2 diabetes compared with type 1 diabetes, but frequent in both groups.

Abstract

Importance  The burden and determinants of complications and comorbidities in contemporary youth-onset diabetes are unknown.

Objective  To determine the prevalence of and risk factors for complications related to type 1 diabetes vs type 2 diabetes among teenagers and young adults who had been diagnosed with diabetes during childhood and adolescence.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Observational study from 2002 to 2015 in 5 US locations, including 2018 participants with type 1 and type 2 diabetes diagnosed at younger than 20 years, with single outcome measures between 2011 and 2015.

Exposures  Type 1 and type 2 diabetes and established risk factors (hemoglobin A1c level, body mass index, waist-height ratio, and mean arterial blood pressure).

Main Outcomes and Measures  Diabetic kidney disease, retinopathy, peripheral neuropathy, cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy, arterial stiffness, and hypertension.

Results  Of 2018 participants, 1746 had type 1 diabetes (mean age, 17.9 years [SD, 4.1]; 1327 non-Hispanic white [76.0%]; 867 female patients [49.7%]), and 272 had type 2 (mean age, 22.1 years [SD, 3.5]; 72 non-Hispanic white [26.5%]; 181 female patients [66.5%]). Mean diabetes duration was 7.9 years (both groups). Patients with type 2 diabetes vs those with type 1 had higher age-adjusted prevalence of diabetic kidney disease (19.9% vs 5.8%; absolute difference [AD], 14.0%; 95% CI, 9.1%-19.9%; P < .001), retinopathy (9.1% vs 5.6%; AD, 3.5%; 95% CI, 0.4%-7.7%; P = .02), peripheral neuropathy (17.7% vs 8.5%; AD, 9.2%; 95% CI, 4.8%-14.4%; P < .001), arterial stiffness (47.4% vs 11.6%; AD, 35.9%; 95% CI, 29%-42.9%; P < .001), and hypertension (21.6% vs 10.1%; AD, 11.5%; 95% CI, 6.8%-16.9%; P < .001), but not cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (15.7% vs 14.4%; AD, 1.2%; 95% CI, –3.1% to 6.5; P = .62). After adjustment for established risk factors measured over time, participants with type 2 diabetes vs those with type 1 had significantly higher odds of diabetic kidney disease (odds ratio [OR], 2.58; 95% CI, 1.39-4.81; P=.003), retinopathy (OR, 2.24; 95% CI, 1.11-4.50; P = .02), and peripheral neuropathy (OR, 2.52; 95% CI, 1.43-4.43; P = .001), but no significant difference in the odds of arterial stiffness (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.63-1.84; P = .80) and hypertension (OR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.50-1.45; P = .55).

Conclusions and Relevance  Among teenagers and young adults who had been diagnosed with diabetes during childhood or adolescence, the prevalence of complications and comorbidities was higher among those with type 2 diabetes compared with type 1, but frequent in both groups. These findings support early monitoring of youth with diabetes for development of complications.

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