Medical and genetic data from thousands of patients has enabled researchers to compare the similarity between patients with type 2 diabetes, revealing three distinctive clusters. These sub-types of type 2 diabetes are associated with different genetic variants, and have quite different health implications.
Subtype 1 patients were more likely to suffer from well-known diabetes problems with kidneys and eyes (diabetic nephropathy and diabetic retinopathy); subtype 2 was more likely to suffer from cancer and cardiovascular diseases; and subtype 3 was associated most strongly with cardiovascular diseases, neurological diseases, allergies, and HIV infections.
Li, L., Cheng, W.-Y., Glicksberg, B. S., Gottesman, O., Tamler, R., Chen, R., … Dudley, J. T. (2015). Identification of type 2 diabetes subgroups through topological analysis of patient similarity. Science Translational Medicine, 7(311), 311ra174-311ra174. http://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa9364