Young-onset diabetes, which is defined as onset before age 40, is associated with a higher risk of being hospitalized for mental illness compared with those who develop diabetes later in life. Those with young-onset diabetes also faced increased hospitalizations for any reason across their lifetime. Findings from a population-based cohort study are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Young-onset diabetes is a heterogeneous and aggressive phenotype associated with increased risk for death and complications compared with usual-onset diabetes. Its prevalence is increasing rapidly worldwide, especially in Asian populations, where 1 in 5 adults with type 2 diabetes has young-onset disease. Young-onset diabetes is associated with poorly-controlled risk factors, yet its effect on hospitalization rates is not known.
Researchers at The Chinese University of Hong Kong examined two large cohorts of Chinese adults with type 2 diabetes to determine the effects of age at onset and modifiable risk factors on hospitalization during the working lifespan, or ages 20 to 75. Using the Hong Kong Diabetes Registry, the researchers computed hospitalization rates for both cohorts. They found that adults with young-onset diabetes, had excess hospitalizations across their lifespan compared with persons with usual-onset diabetes, but also found a previously unknown link between young-onset diabetes and hospitalization for mental illness.
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