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From New Jersey, USA:

I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes four years ago. I was 26 at the time. My doctor told me that it's not a good age (if there is such a thing) to get diabetes. He said it would be somewhat easier if I would have been diagnosed much earlier or later in my life. This has something to do with hormones, at least to an extent, from what he told me. Could you please explain to me what the differences are between someone diagnosed in their twenties like me, and someone older or younger? What makes me different than an a much older or younger diabetic? Thanks.


Most cases of Type 1 Diabetes present during childhood or adolescence although nowadays the diagnosis is often made in the 'pre-diabetic' phase by antibody testing of high risk individuals. Some cases of Type 1 present up until the mid-forties and I have heard of one instance, possibly apocryphal, where the onset was in the early 60's.

I think you must talk to your doctor again about 26 being a bad age: perhaps you have misunderstood him? It has always seemed to me that the later the diabetes becomes clinically apparent the shorter the exposure you have to the factors (mostly poor control) that bring about the long term vascular complications of the condition. I would also have thought that the mid twenties were a good age for accepting the discipline that the diagnosis imposes and for being able to understand how much the long-term outlook has been improved in the last few years.


Original posting 2 Aug 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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