Type 1 diabetes often starts in childhood but can occur at any age. About 1.4 million people in the US have type 1 diabetes. Every year about 64,000 people are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Because type 1 diabetes so often starts in childhood, it may be misdiagnosed in adults. This is because more than 95% of people diagnosed with diabetes each year have type 2 diabetes. Most of these people are age 45 and older. To make sure that adults with diabetes are treated properly, type 1 diabetes should be considered in certain adults. Studies suggest that adults who rapidly need insulin therapy within 3 years of diagnosis may have type 1 diabetes. This is especially true if they are not obese.
Regardless of the age at diagnosis, type 1 diabetes requires prompt treatment. Proper management of the disease can prevent many long-term health problems