Type 3c diabetes being misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes, say researchers

Jack Woodfield
Tue, 24 Oct 2017
Type 3c diabetes being misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes, say researchers
Pancreatitis is leading to misdiagnoses of type 2 diabetes in people who actually have type 3c diabetes, researchers say.

A UK study involving two million people has found 97.3 per cent of those who had previously suffered from pancreatic disease (acute pancreatitis or chronic pancreatic disease) had been wrongly told they had type 2 diabetes when, in fact, they actually had type 3c diabetes.

Type 3c diabetes, also known as pancreatogenic diabetes, is not as well known compared to type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. It develops when the pancreas becomes inflamed, or part of it is removed, and eventually stops producing insulin.

Type 3c diabetes requires insulin therapy straight away, and wrongly diagnosing someone with type 2 diabetes means there can be a significant delay in a patient receiving the correct treatment.

University of Surrey researchers also found type 3c diabetes was more common than previously thought, with significantly more people diagnosed with type 3c diabetes compared to type 1 diabetes.

Senior author of the report, Professor Simon de Lusignan from the University of Surrey, said: "Greater awareness of type 3c diabetes within the medical profession is required immediately to improve management of this disease, which now has a higher incidence than type 1 diabetes in adults.

"Our research shows that the majority of people with type 3c diabetes are being misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes, putting both their short and long term health at risk. Diabetes and its complications place a tremendous burden on the NHS and it is important that patients are diagnosed quickly and correctly, helping them get the specific care they need.

"This builds on our previous work that suggests that failure to flag the right diagnosis is associated with lower quality care."

The findings have been published in the Diabetes Care journal.
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