Individuals diagnosed with diabetes before the age of 40 years (young-onset diabetes [YOD]) may have a higher risk of excess hospitalisations across their lifespan compared with those with usual-onset type 2 diabetes (T2D) according to new research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong examined data on almost 445,000 people from 2 large cohorts of Chinese adults with T2D to determine the effects of age at onset and modifiable risk factors on hospitalisation during the working lifespan, that is, the age of 20 to 75 years. The researchers computed hospitalisation rates for both cohorts.
They found patients with YOD had the highest hospitalisation rates by attained age in both cohorts. The authors estimated that a patient with YOD would spend nearly 100 days in the hospital before their 75th birthday. By comparison, those with T2D onset at the age of 50 years had 59 bed-days and those with onset at 65 years had 29 bed-days.
The study also identified a previously unknown link between YOD and hospitalisation for mental illness. Among those with YOD, 36.8% of bed-days before the age of 40 years were because of mental illness.
“Efforts to prevent YOD and intensify cardiometabolic risk factor control while focusing on mental health are urgently needed”, the authors said.