Prevalence of Diabetes Complications in Adolescents With Type 2 Compared With Type 1 Diabetes

  1. Maike C. Eppens123,
  2. Maria E. Craig, MBBS, PHD, FRACP2345,
  3. Janine Cusumano, RN23,
  4. Stephen Hing, MBBS, FRACOS23,
  5. Albert K.F. Chan, MAPPSTAT23,
  6. Neville J. Howard, FRACP, FRCP23,
  7. Martin Silink, AM, MD, FRACP23 and
  8. Kim C. Donaghue, MBBS, PHD, FRACP23
  1. 1University of Leiden, Leiden, the Netherlands
  2. 2Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Discipline of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4Department of Pediatrics, St. George Hospital, Kogarah, New South Wales, Australia
  5. 5School of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Maria Craig, Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia


OBJECTIVE—To compare the prevalence of diabetes complications and their risk factors in youth with type 1 versus type 2 diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We performed a comparative clinic-based study of 1,433 patients with type 1 diabetes and 68 patients with type 2 diabetes aged <18 years from New South Wales, Australia. Retinopathy was assessed by seven-field stereoscopic retinal photography; albumin excretion rate from three consecutive, timed, overnight urine collections; peripheral neuropathy by thermal and vibration threshold; and autonomic neuropathy by pupillometry. HbA1c (A1C) and lipids were measured in all patients and C-peptide in patients with type 2 diabetes.

RESULTS—In patients with type 1 versus type 2 diabetes, median (interquartile range) age was 15.7 years (13.9–17.0) and 15.3 years (13.6–16.4), respectively (P = 0.2), whereas median diabetes duration was 6.8 years (4.7–9.6) and 1.3 years (0.6–3.1), respectively (P < 0.0001). Retinopathy was significantly more common in patients with type 1 diabetes (20 vs. 4%, P = 0.04), while microalbuminuria and hypertension were significantly less common (6 and 16% in type 1 diabetes vs. 28 and 36% in type 2 diabetes). Rates of peripheral and autonomic neuropathy were similar (27 and 61% in type 1 diabetes vs. 21 and 57% in type 2 diabetes). In multivariate analyses, microalbuminuria was significantly associated with older age (odds ratio 1.3 [95% CI 1.2–1.5], P < 0.001) and systolic hypertension (3.63 [2.0–6.3], P < 0.001) in type 1 diabetes, while only higher A1C (1.7 [1.3–2.9], P = 0.002) was significant in patients with type 2 diabetes.

CONCLUSIONS—Youth with type 2 diabetes have significantly higher rates of microalbuminuria and hypertension than their peers with type 1 diabetes, despite shorter diabetes duration and lower A1C. The results of this study support recommendations for early complications screening and aggressive targeting of glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.


  • A table elsewhere in this issue shows conventional and Système International (SI) units and conversion factors for many substances.

    The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

    • Accepted March 6, 2006.
    • Received December 15, 2005.
| Table of Contents