The disease is now classified by doctors in two forms, either type one or type two.
"Type 2 diabetes is usually caused by lifestyle factors and is preventable in most people".
Dr Emily Burns, head of research communications at Diabetes UK told The Guardian that while the research was promising, there was still more digging to be done: "We still need to know more about these subtypes before we can understand what this means for people living with the condition", she said.
Emma Ahlqvist, Ph.D., from Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues used data from the Swedish All New Diabetics in Scania cohort to do data-driven, cluster analysis in 8,980 patients with newly diagnosed diabetes.
While type 1 diabetes is generally diagnosed in childhood and caused by the body not producing enough insulin, type 2 occurs when the body can not produce enough insulin to meet increased demand imposed by obesity and insulin resistance (dearth of hormone receptors), and typically occurs later in life.
Leif Groop, PhD, professor in the department of clinical sciences at Lund University Diabetes Centre, Sweden, and the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland and one of the main investigators in this study, explained that this study provides insights into development and progression of diabetes.
The results have been published in The Lancet: Diabetes and Endocrinology.
Type 1 diabetes - generally diagnosed in childhood - is caused by the body's immune system destroying the cells that release insulin, eventually ending insulin production from the body.
There were patients whose cells also stopped producing insulin, but not due to their immune system; they were often young and in otherwise good shape.
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Cluster 4: Mild obesity-related diabetes - affects obese patients but is less serious.
People with diabetes have excessively high blood glucose, or blood sugar, which comes from food.
Another group facing serious complications was composed of relatively young, insulin-deficient patients.
Additionally, the findings concluded that the different subgroups are more or less at risk of developing various secondary disease.
Experts warn Britain is sitting on a diabetes time bomb with the number of prescriptions for Type 2 sufferers rising by a third in five years to 35 million.
This study analysed several cohorts and registries of people with diabetes from Sweden and Finland to look at the characteristics of people newly diagnosed with the disease.
Most of the patients (nearly 40 percent) in the cohort belonged to the cluster 5.
Shock new figures show that a further 2,000 people were diagnosed with the condition in 2017, bringing the numbers of people in the county diagnosed with diabetes to almost 42,000.
They believe the more precise groupings - each genetically distinct - will aid diagnosis, help tailor treatments and lead to precision medicines. "For example, whether we'd find the same subtypes in people of different ethnicity or nationality".
As for genetic links, there were no variants associated with all the clusters.