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Improving outcomes for young adults with diabetes

Most young adults with diabetes have Type 1 but Type 2 is increasing in this age group and appears to be associated with worse long-term outcomes. Young adults with diabetes often disengage with services or get lost to follow-up and form a high proportion of emergency hospital admissions related to diabetes.

Getting the right diagnosis can be difficult as there is often overlap between the features of Type 1, Type 2 and rarer forms of diabetes. Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is a monogenic form of diabetes which has specific implications for management, but is sometimes misdiagnosed as Type 1 or Type 2.

The Young Adult Network works across hospital trust sites in the Oxford AHSN region to:

  • improve knowledge and diagnosis of rare kinds of diabetes
  • develop common care pathways, particularly for Type 2 and monogenic diabetes
  • share experience, good practice and innovation.

The network has appointed three diabetes specialist nurses: Amanda Webster (Oxford), Arbi Briggs (Berkshire) and Amanda Kohli (Milton Keynes/Bucks) to work for one session per week on identifying monogenic diabetes, helping to develop management protocols for young patients and training healthcare professionals. Presentations at hospitals in Milton Keynes, Reading and Windsor have been well received.

To find out about training on identification and treatment of rare forms of diabetes please email genes4diabetes@ocdem.ox.ac.uk

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