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From North Plainfield, New Jersey, USA:

What is the most common age at which diabetes starts?


Generally speaking, you must remember that there are mainly two types of diabetes mellitus: Type 1 autoimmune insulin-dependent, and Type 2, non-insulin-dependent.

The risk for Type 1 diabetes varies by geographical area; in Caucasoid populations (such as European and of European descent), it is higher until early 20's although it generally peaks around 5-9 and 10-14 years of age and declines quite sharply after the 30's.

Type 2 diabetes behaves the opposite way, presenting most often after age 40, its risk increasing as the subject gets older. Therefore, there is an overlapping for the ages of clinical presentation of the two types. Specific tests (such as immunological markers as autoantibodies) can be performed to clarify the type.


Original posting 22 Jan 98


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