Health burden in type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in The Maastricht Study

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Mortality in type 2 diabetes, is determined not only by classical complications, but also by comorbidities, and is linked to hyperglycaemia and apparent even in prediabetes. We aimed to comprehensively investigate, in a population-based cohort, health burden defined as the presence of comorbidities in addition to classical complications and cardiometabolic risk factors, in not only type 2 diabetes but also prediabetes. Such population-based study has not been performed previously. Extensive phenotyping was performed in 3,410 participants of the population-based Maastricht Study (15.0% prediabetes and 28.6% type 2 diabetes) to assess presence of 17 comorbidities, six classical complications, and ten cardiometabolic risk factors. These were added up into individual and combined sum scores and categorized. Group differences were studied with multinomial regression analyses adjusted for age and sex. Individuals with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, as compared to normal glucose metabolism (NGM), had greater comorbidities, classical complications, cardiometabolic risk factors and combined sum scores (comorbidities sum score ≥ 3: frequencies (95% CI) 61.5% (57.6;65.4) and 41.2% (36.5;45.9) vs. 25.4% (23.5;27.4), p-trend < 0.001; classical complications ≥ 2 (26.6% (23.1;30.1; P < 0.001 vs. NGM) and 10.1% (7.8;12.7; P = 0.065 vs NGM) vs. 8.0% (6.9;9.3)); cardiometabolic risk factors ≥ 6 (39.7% (35.9;43.4) and 28.5% (24.5;32.6) vs. 14.0% (12.5;15.6); p-trend < 0.001); combined ≥ 8 (66.6% (62.7;70.5) and 48.4% (43.7;53.1) vs. 26.0%(24.1;28.0), p-trend < 0.001). Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes health burden was comparable to respectively 32 and 14 years of ageing. Our population-based study shows, independently of age and sex, a considerable health burden in both type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, which to a substantial extent can be attributed to comorbidities in addition to classical complications and cardiometabolic risk factors. Our findings emphasize the necessity of comorbidities' awareness in (pre)diabetes and for determining the exact role of hyperglycaemia in the occurrence of comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7337
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2022


  • Blood Glucose/metabolism
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/complications
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia/complications
  • Prediabetic State/complications
  • RISK
  • Risk Factors

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