Type 1 and type 2 diabetes on the rise among youth
A study that included more than 3 million children and adolescents in the U.S. revealed rates of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes increased dramatically between 2001 and 2009.
The researchers, who published their work in the journal JAMA, report that while diabetes is often called an "epidemic," there have been few studies on how it is evolving in children and whether these trends are changing based on gender, age or ethnicity.
"Historically, type l diabetes has been considered a disease that affects primarily white youth," the authors wrote. "However, our findings highlight the increasing burden of type l diabetes experienced by youth of minority racial/ethnic groups as well."
Increased risk of complications
The researchers found there to be a 21-percent increase in type 1 diabetes over the eight-year study period, with the greatest increase among youth between the ages of 15 and 19. Increased type 1 diabetes rates were seen in both sexes and in white, Hispanic, black, and Asian Pacific Islander youth.
For type 2 diabetes, there was a 30.5-percent increase during the study period, and increases were seen in both sexes. No increases were found in Asian Pacific Islander and American Indian youth, but increases were observed in white, Hispanic and black youth, the authors reported.
Further studies that examine the cause of these increases will be critical, they concluded.
"The increases in prevalence reported herein are important because such youth with diabetes will enter adulthood with several years of disease duration, difficulty in treatment, an increased risk of early complications, and increased frequency of diabetes during reproductive years, which may further increase diabetes in the next generation," they wrote.