A new study is a herald of the future of diabetes care but changes to treatment would not be immediate
Diabetes is five separate diseases and treatment could be tailored to each form, claim researchers in Sweden and Finland.
Experts said the study was a herald of the future of diabetes care but changes to treatment would not be immediate, reports BBC.
Up to now diabetes has been normally split into type 1 and type 2.
The results, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, showed the patients could be separated into five distinct clusters.
The three severe forms could be treated more aggressively than the two milder ones, Prof Leif Groop, one of the researchers, told the BBC.
Cluster 2 had a higher risk of blindness while cluster 3 had the greatest risk of kidney disease, so some clusters may benefit from enhanced screening.
Dr Victoria Salem, a consultant and clinical scientist at Imperial College London, said most specialists knew that type 1 and type 2 was not a terribly accurate classification system.
"This is definitely the future of how we think about diabetes as a disease."