Objective: Young-onset type 2 diabetes (YOD, defined as age <40 years) is associated with early β-cell failure and poor risk factor control. While YOD incidence is increasing rapidly, its disease burden is poorly understood, resulting in clinical inertia and poor treatment adherence. We examined the burden of hospitalization among Chinese adults with YOD.

Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study measuring all-cause hospitalization in YOD and usual-onset type 2 diabetes (T2D) among adults aged 20-75 years using the Hong Kong Diabetes Register (2000-2015, n=21,779). We estimated the impacts of YOD and risk factor control on hospitalization rate after T2D diagnosis using negative binomial regression.

Results: YOD hospitalization had a bimodal distribution, with a disproportionate burden of mental illness < age 40 years (35.9% of bed-days; Figure. 1). YOD was associated with a 3-fold increase in hospitalization rate vs. usual-onset T2D (adjusted rate ratio 2.8, 95% confidence interval 2.5-3.2). Intensified risk factor control (A1C<6.2%, blood pressure<120/75, LDL cholesterol<2.0 mmol/L) was associated with a 39.5% reduction in cumulative hospital days.

Conclusions: YOD is associated with substantial excess hospitalization across the adult lifespan. Urgent efforts are required to develop aggressive management strategies, and to address the unrecognized burden of mental illness in YOD.


C. Ke: None. E.S.H. Lau: None. A. Luk: Advisory Panel; Self; AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.. Research Support; Self; Sanofi. R.C. Ma: Research Support; Self; AstraZeneca, Bayer AG, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Pfizer Inc.. Advisory Panel; Self; Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Nippon Boehringer Ingelheim Co. Ltd. A.P. Kong: Research Support; Self; AstraZeneca. E. Chow: Research Support; Self; Sanofi. P.M. Clarke: None. J.C. Chan: Consultant; Self; Bayer AG. Other Relationship; Self; Bayer AG. Consultant; Self; Sanofi. Other Relationship; Self; Sanofi, Eli Lilly and Company, Amgen Inc.. Consultant; Self; AstraZeneca, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer Inc.. Other Relationship; Self; Pfizer Inc.. Board Member; Self; Asia Diabetes Foundation. Stock/Shareholder; Self; GemVCare. Other Relationship; Self; Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.. Consultant; Self; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Novartis AG, Eli Lilly and Company.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at http://www.diabetesjournals.org/content/license.