Premature mortality and comorbidities in young-onset diabetes: a 7-year prospective analysis

Am J Med. 2014 Jul;127(7):616-24. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.03.018. Epub 2014 Mar 25.


Background: There is an increasing prevalence of young-onset diabetes, especially in developing areas. We compared the clinical outcomes and predictors for cardiovascular-renal events between Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes with young- or late-onset of disease diagnosed before or after the age of 40 years, respectively.

Methods: The Hong Kong Diabetes Registry was established in 1995 as an ongoing quality improvement initiative with consecutive enrollment of diabetic patients from ambulatory settings for documentation of risk factors, microvascular and macrovascular complications, and clinical outcomes using a structured protocol.

Results: In 9509 Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes with a median (interquartile range) follow-up period of 7.5 (3.9-10.8) years, 21.3% (n = 2066) had young-onset diabetes. Despite 20 years difference in age, patients with young-onset diabetes (mean age, 41.3 years) had a similar or worse risk profile than those with late-onset disease (mean age, 61.9 years). Compared with the patients with late-onset diabetes, those with young-onset diabetes had lower rates of cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease for the same disease duration but a higher cumulative incidence of clinical events at any given age. With the use of stepwise Cox proportional hazard analysis, patients with young-onset diabetes had higher risks for cardiovascular and renal events when adjusted by age, but no difference in risks than in the patients with late-onset diabetes when further adjusted by disease duration.

Conclusions: Patients with young-onset diabetes had a similar or worse metabolic risk profile compared with those with late-onset disease. This group had higher risks for cardiovascular-renal complications at any given age, driven by longer disease duration.

Keywords: Cardiovascular-renal events; Mortality; Young-onset diabetes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality, Premature / trends*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult