Diabetes in U.S. Youth on the Rise

Despite research and intervention efforts, a new study finds that diabetes in young people is growing, according to an article in Modern Healthcare. Many believe the increase in Type 2 diabetes may be directly linked to childhood obesity.

The study, published in the May 7 issue of JAMA, analyzed the health of over 3 million children, and found Type 1 diabetes increased 30% in the 19-and-under age group. Type 2 diabetes increased 35% among children between the ages of 10-19 from 2001 and 2009

Dr. Dana Dabelea, a professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health co-authored the study.

“The increases that we report should draw the attention of the medical community and the public health community to the seriousness of the public health impact of pediatric diabetes. Our data informs the clinical practice community of the care that will be needed for the population of children and youth living with diabetes,” Dabelea told Modern Healthcare.

In 2001, there were 4,958 diagnosed cases of Type 1 diabetes among 3.3 million youth. By 2009, the number increased to 6,666 cases. Type 2 diabetes grew from 588 diagnosed cases out of 1.7 million children in 2001, to 819 cases in 2009. These increases were found in nearly all racial groups, except among American Indians.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 215,000 people in the U.S., younger than 20, had diabetes in 2010. The total estimated cost of diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Read the entire article by Steven Ross Johnson here.

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