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Groundbreaking Dundee research could transform Type 2 Diabetes care

By James Moncur

Dundee University scientists are conducting research that could transform care for patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

The experts are moving away from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and are now tailoring treatment to individuals.

They have worked out how people with Type 2 diabetes differ from each other and how this affects their long-term risks and response to treatment.

The study analysed data from more than 23,000 sufferers and was based on nine clinical characteristics.

Research spokesman Professor Ewan Pearson said: “Clinically, we need to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to the management of people with Type 2 diabetes and be more precise in the care of patients.

“Our study demonstrates how we can look at an individual with Type 2 diabetes and illustrate in an intuitive way the main reasons they have diabetes and use this to manage them better to reduce their individual risks.

More than 4 million people in the UK have Type 2 diabetes, with complications arising from the condition including life threatening heart and kidney disease, while it is also the biggest cause of blindness and amputation in the UK.

Professor Pearson gave an example to illustrate his team’s work in simple terms.

He explained: “Imagine three women diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at the age of 60. One may only be slightly overweight and have developed diabetes due to reduced insulin production from the pancreas.

"She will have slow progression of her diabetes and lower risk of complications.

“The second, may have particularly high blood pressure and be more prone to eye complications.

“The third may be very overweight with high blood fats and be more resistant to the effects of insulin, meaning she would be at increased risk of heart disease.

“They all have Type 2 diabetes but for very different reasons and with very different profiles, meaning that different treatments may result in better outcomes, depending on their circumstances.”

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