Early onset type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is increasingly prevalent with a significant impact on the individual, healthcare service delivery and planning. The individuals are likely to be obese, lead a sedentary lifestyle, have a strong family history of T2DM, be of black and minority ethnic (BME) origin and come from a less affluent socioeconomic group. They have a heightened risk of developing microvascular and macrovascular complications, often at an earlier stage and with greater frequency than seen in type 1 diabetes. As such, early and aggressive risk factor management is warranted. Early onset T2DM is complex and impacts on service delivery with a need for multidisciplinary care of complications and comorbidities', in addition to adequate educational and psychological support. This review on the impact of early onset T2DM provides the latest insights into this emerging epidemic.
Keywords: management; risk factors; type 2 diabetes.