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The EURO-WABB Project

An EU Rare Diseases Registry for Wolfram syndrome, Alström syndrome, Bardet-Biedl syndrome and other rare diabetes syndromes.


Common and Rare Diabetes

Common diabetes

Most people have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is the commonest in children and affects about 1 in 500 children in Europe. Type 2 diabetes is commoner in adults and affects up to 5% of all adults.

Rare diabetes

Other types of diabetes are collectively rare, accounting for less than 5% of all people affected by diabetes. These may be secondary to other conditions such as organ transplant, cystic fibrosis or blood disorders; or primary genetic. There is a useful website for health professionals that explains the different types of genetic diabetes and diagnostic tests available (

Type 1 diabetes

Nearly all children and young adults who have diabetes have this type of diabetes. Because the pancreas gland in Type 1 diabetes doesn’t produce enough insulin this means these people have to take regular insulin injections just like you. About 1 in 400 school aged children have this type of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes

Most of the people with this type of diabetes are older adults but occasionally children and young adults do get Type 2 diabetes. The people who get this sort of diabetes can often control it with a low sugar diet and/or tablets and some people do go onto insulin, usually when they have had Type 2 diabetes for a little while. Type 2 diabetes happens when the body still makes insulin but not in large enough amounts or the insulin it is making cannot work properly and blood glucose levels rise.