415 million people live with diabetes worldwide, and an estimated 193 million people have undiagnosed diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of patients with diabetes and leads to microvascular and macrovascular complications that cause profound psychological and physical distress to both patients and carers and put a huge burden on health-care systems. Despite increasing knowledge regarding risk factors for type 2 diabetes and evidence for successful prevention programmes, the incidence and prevalence of the disease continues to rise globally. Early detection through screening programmes and the availability of safe and effective therapies reduces morbidity and mortality by preventing or delaying complications. Increased understanding of specific diabetes phenotypes and genotypes might result in more specific and tailored management of patients with type 2 diabetes, as has been shown in patients with maturity onset diabetes of the young. In this Seminar, we describe recent developments in the diagnosis and management of type 2 diabetes, existing controversies, and future directions of care.
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