(HealthDay News) — Young people with type 2 diabetes are much more likely to show signs of complications from the disease than those who have type 1 diabetes, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study included 1746 young people with type 1 diabetes and 272 with type 2 diabetes. They were treated in 5 different locations in the United States between 2002 and 2015. The average age of the those with type 1 diabetes was 18, and three-quarters were white. For those with type 2 diabetes, the average age was 22, and only about one-quarter were white. Both groups had diabetes for about 8 years. Their blood glucose levels were similar.

The researchers found that 19.9% of the type 2 group had early signs of possible kidney disease, as did 5.8% of those with type 1 diabetes. The investigators also found that 9.1% of those with type 2 diabetes had early signs of retinopathy, as did 5.6% of the type 1 group. Arterial stiffness was seen in 47.4% of those with type 2 diabetes and 11.6% with type 1 diabetes. In addition, 21.6% of those with type 2 diabetes and 10.1% of those with type 1 diabetes had hypertension.

Continue Reading

“The one big difference in the kids with type 1 and type 2 was obesity. When we controlled the data for obesity, there was no longer an excess of complications for type 2 diabetes,” lead author Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD, a professor of epidemiology and pediatrics at the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora, told HealthDay. The one bright spot in the findings was that the complications were mostly in the “early or subclinical” stages, Dabelea added.


  1. Dabelea D, Stafford JM, Mayer-Davis EJ, et al. Association of Type 1 Diabetes vs Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed During Childhood and Adolescence With Complications During Teenage Years and Young Adulthood. JAMA. 28 February 2017. doi: 10.1001/jama.2017.0686