ADA: Type 2 Diabetes Rising Significantly in U.S. Youth

From 2001 to 2009, 21 percent increase seen in prevalence among youth aged 10 to 20 years

MONDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- From 2001 to 2009, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes increased 21 percent among youth in the United States, according to research presented at the American Diabetes Association's 72nd Scientific Sessions, held from June 8 to 12 in Philadelphia.

Dana Dabelea, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Colorado Denver in Aurora, and colleagues investigated temporal trends in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in youth, from 2001 to 2009. Data were collected from four geographic-based sites (Colorado, South Carolina, Ohio, and Washington). Cases had a physician diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and were younger than 20 years on Dec. 31, 2001 or 2009. Due to the rarity of type 2 diabetes among those younger than 10 years, the prevalence was presented for those aged 10 or older.

The researchers identified 382 and 464 youth with type 2 diabetes in 2001 and 2009, respectively. Using capture-recapture, the completeness of ascertainment was estimated at 91 percent in 2001 and 88 percent in 2009. The overall prevalence increased 21 percent, from 0.29 to 0.36 per 1,000. The increase was found to be significant in females, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites and was not significant for African-Americans, American Indians, and Asian/Pacific Islanders.

"Type 2, once known as 'adult onset' diabetes, is increasingly being diagnosed in young people," a coauthor said in a statement. "We've known this was happening for a while, but now we have data that tell us just how big a problem it has become."

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