Dec 31 2017

Diabetes is on the Rise in Children and Teens!

National Diabetes Surveillance System. Boyle JP, et al. Popul Health Metr Oct 22;8:29. CDC. National diabetes fact sheet

<10 years. NHW, non-Hispanic whites; NHB, non-Hispanic blacks; H, Hispanics; API, Asians/Pacific Islanders; AI, American Indians. CDC. National diabetes fact sheet

Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO):

A recent study found that rates of new cases of diabetes in children and teens rose during 2002 to 2012. The researchers reported increases in the rates of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

More than 29 million Americans are living with diabetes. People with diabetes have sugar (glucose) levels that are too high. Over time, high levels of blood glucose can cause many health problems.

“Because of the early age of onset and longer diabetes duration, youth are at risk for developing diabetes-related complications at a younger age. This profoundly lessens their quality of life, shortens their life expectancy, and increases health care costs,” said Giuseppina Imperatore, M.D., Ph.D., an epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Key diabetes findings from the report:

  • Across all racial/ethnic groups, the rate of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes increased more annually from 2003-2012 in males (2.2 percent) than in females (1.4 percent) ages 0-19.
  • Among youth ages 0-19, the rate of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes increased most sharply in Hispanic youth, a 4.2 percent annual increase. In non-Hispanic blacks, the rate of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes increased by 2.2 percent and in non-Hispanic whites by 1.2 percent per year.
  • Among youth ages 10-19, the rate of newly diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes rose most sharply in Native Americans (8.9 percent), Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (8.5 percent) and non-Hispanic blacks (6.3 percent). However, the Native American youth who participated in the SEARCH study are not representative of all Native American youth in the United States. Thus, these rates cannot be generalized to all Native American youth nationwide.
  • Among youth ages 10-19, the rate of newly diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes increased 3.1 percent among Hispanics. The smallest increase was seen in whites (0.6 percent).
  • The rate of newly diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes rose much more sharply in females (6.2 percent) than in males (3.7 percent) ages 10-19.


In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive. Type 2 diabetes is caused when the body doesn’t make or use insulin well.

Researchers found that, for each year between 2002 and 2012, the rate of new cases of type 1 diabetes in youths under 20 rose by about 2%. The rate of new cases of type 2 diabetes in youths ages 10 to 19 increased by about 5%. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 is seldom diagnosed in children younger than 10.

The researchers noted that rates of diabetes rose significantly in certain racial and ethnic groups. For type 1 diabetes, the rate of new cases increased in Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, and non-Hispanic whites. For type 2 diabetes, the rate of new cases rose in Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans.

The study also detected differences in the rates for male and female youths. For type 1 diabetes, the rate rose more in males. For type 2 diabetes, the rate increased more in females.

“The differences among racial and ethnic groups and between genders raise many questions,” says Dr. Barbara Linder, NIH’s senior advisor for childhood diabetes research. “We need to understand why the increase in rates of diabetes development varies so greatly and is so concentrated in specific racial and ethnic groups.”

NIH-funded studies are now examining what factors may increase the risk of diabetes.

World Health Organization: Key Facts on Diabetes:

  • The number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.
  • The global prevalence of diabetes* among adults over 18 years of age has risen from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014.
  • Diabetes prevalence has been rising more rapidly in middle- and low-income countries.
  • Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
  • In 2015, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. Another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose in 2012.
  • Almost half of all deaths attributable to high blood glucose occur before the age of 70 years. WHO projects that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030.
  • A healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.



Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030.
Mathers CD, Loncar D. PLoS Med, 2006, 3(11):e442.

Diabetes mellitus, fasting blood glucose concentration, and risk of vascular disease: a collaborative meta-analysis of 102 prospective studies. Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration.
Sarwar N, Gao P, Seshasai SR, Gobin R, Kaptoge S, Di Angelantonio et al. Lancet. 2010; 26;375:2215-2222.


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