Diabetes Incidence on the Rise Among Youth


37,000 type 1 diabetics and over 457,000 type 2 diabetics, included in the Swedish National Diabetes Register between 2008 and 2012, were followed until 2014. Reducing the risk of these complications involves better control of blood sugar levels, and paying greater attention to the associated risks, namely excess weight, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking and a lack of exercise.

The report state that around 29.1 million people in the USA are living with diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes, and around 208,000 people younger than 20 years are living with diagnosed diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body is resistant to the effects of the insulin that is circulating throughout the body, Jun said. To stay alive, someone with type 1 diabetes must replace that insulin through injections.

Among youth ages 0-19, the rate of new diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes increased most sharply in Hispanic youth, a 4.2 percent annual increase. Symptoms of the disease include increased thirst and hunger, the frequent need to urinate, unexplained weight loss, tiredness, and sores that do not heal quickly.

Although far fewer children have type 2 diabetes, the disease is increasing faster than type 1.

The SEARCH study is the first ever to estimate trends in new diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in youth from the five major racial/ethnic groups, viz. For those with type 2 diabetes, there was a corresponding 21%, 46%, and 48% reduction in the same outcomes. In non-Hispanic blacks, the rate of new diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes increased by 2.2 percent and in non-Hispanic whites by 1.2 percent per year.

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"The increase in incidence of type 2 diabetes is likely related primarily to the increases in overweight and obesity in youth, although this is not the only reason", said Mayer-Davis. Patients with type 1 diabetes had similar reductions in the number of deaths compared to controls. In the past, type 2 diabetes was a condition more commonly seen in older adults, taking years to develop. These patients were compared to similar people without diabetes (the "control" group). Across all age groups, Type 1 diabetes increased 2.2% in males and 1.4% in females.

Among type 1 diabetic patients, there was a nonsignificant 13% reduction in the risk of heart failure, and this reduction was not significantly different compared with matched controls.

"Type 2 diabetes can be controlled by having a close relationship with your primary care provider", Jun said. He is from the Institute of Medicine at the University of Gothenberg in Sweden. More than 75,000 Americans have been dying of diabetes each year, as the CDC says. But if we take proper treatment for high blood pressure medications and cholesterol-lowering drugs it would be a huge contribution in controlling diabetes.

"These findings lead to many more questions", explained Dr. Barbara Linder, senior advisor for childhood diabetes research at NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

The study, published Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed higher rates of diabetes diagnoses among minorities.