People could be wrongly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes

People are at risk for developing severe problems with their pancreas after being misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a study claims. 

Type 3c diabetes occurs as a result of pancreatic inflammation, abnormal growth of tissue on the organ or surgically removing part or all of the tissue, which affects the body’s ability to produce insulin.

The study claims that people who previously had a pancreatic disease could’ve been misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which can cause the wrong treatment plan.

Researchers said the National Health Service and health experts need to distinguish between the types of diabetes to avoid providing the wrong care to a patient.


People who with type 3c diabetes are often misdiagnosed, a study claims. Researchers medical records on people who had diabetes and the accuracy of the diagnosis. They found that 97.3 percent of people with pancreatic disease were misdiagnosed. Pictured is a public health worker in India testing the blood glucose levels of a patient

Experts from the University of Surrey examined the patient medical records of more than two million Britons to assess the frequency of different types of diabetes and the accuracy of diagnosis.

The study, published in the journals Diabetes Care, found that up to 97.3 percent of people who have previously experienced pancreatic disease are misdiagnosed, typically with Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin so the glucose stays in the blood instead of being used as fuel.  

This is often associated with obesity in people middle-aged or older. 

In contrast, type 3c diabetes happens following damage to the pancreas. It is also termed ‘pancreatogenic diabetes’.

Someone might have this if they are experiencing symptoms of cystic fibrosis, inflammation in the pancreas or pancreatic cancer.   

A wrong diagnosis can impact the treatment offered to patients. 

This builds on our previous work that suggests failure to flag the right diagnosis is associated with lower quality care 

Professor de Lusignan from the University of Surrey

Type 3c diabetes requires insulin therapy more urgently than type 2 diabetes to defect the glucose deficiency in the blood.

Senior author Professor Simon de Lusignan said: ‘Greater awareness of Type 3c diabetes within the medical profession is required immediately to improve management of this disease, which now has a higher incidence than Type 1 diabetes in adults.’

An estimated 422 million people around the world live with some form of diabetes, according to the World Health Organization.   

Researchers said they found that type 3c diabetes is becoming more common than type 1 in adults. 

In their sample, 205 more people were newly diagnosed with Type 3c diabetes than with Type 1.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack healthy tissue in the pancreas responsible for creating insulin. 

The researchers said the National Health Service in England needs to better recognize the newer form of diabetes to help practitioners diagnose their patients. 

‘Diabetes and its complications place a tremendous burden on the NHS and it is important that patients are diagnosed quickly and correctly, helping them get the specific care they need,’ Professor de Lusignan said.

‘This builds on our previous work that suggests that failure to flag the right diagnosis is associated with lower quality care.