Young-onset Diabetes, Nutritional Therapy and Novel Insulin Delivery Systems: A Report From the 21 st Hong Kong Diabetes and Cardiovascular Risk Factors - East Meets West Symposium

Diabet Med. 2020 Jun 8. doi: 10.1111/dme.14335. Online ahead of print.


The prevalence and incidence of young-onset diabetes are increasing in many parts of the world, with the most rapid increase occurring in Asia, where one in five people with diabetes are diagnosed below the age of 40 years. Accumulation of glycaemic burden from an early age significantly increases the lifetime risks of developing complications from diabetes. Despite impending health threats, young people fare worse in the control of blood glucose and other metabolic risk factors. Challenges in the management of young-onset diabetes are compounded by heterogeneity of the underlying causes, pathophysiology and clinical phenotypes in this group. Effective characterization of people with diabetes has implications in steering the choice of glucose-lowering drugs, which, in turn, determines the clinical outcome. Medical nutritional therapy is key to effective management of people with diabetes but dietary adherence is often suboptimal among younger individuals. A recently published consensus report on nutritional therapy addresses dietary management in people with prediabetes as well as diabetes, and summarizes clinical evidence regarding macronutrient and micronutrient composition as well as eating patterns in people with diabetes. For people with type 1 diabetes, automated insulin delivery systems have rapidly evolved since the concept was first introduced at the National Institute of Health and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in 2005. The subsequent development of a type 1 diabetes simulator, developed using detailed human physiology data on carbohydrate metabolism replaced the need for pre-clinical animal studies and facilitated the seamless progression to artificial pancreas human clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review