Diabetes Prevalence Increasing in American Youth

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From 2001 to 2009, increase in prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
From 2001 to 2009, increase in prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

From 2001 to 2009, the prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes increased among youth in the United States, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on child health.

Dana Dabelea, M.D., Ph.D., from the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora, and colleagues estimated changes in the prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in U.S. youth between 2001 and 2009.

The researchers found that the prevalence of type 1 diabetes increased from 1.48 per 1,000 in 2011 to 1.93 per 1,000 in 2009. The prevalence was highest among white youth (2.55 per 1,000) and lowest in American-Indian youth (0.35 per 1,000).

Over eight years there was a 21.1 percent increase in type 1 diabetes after adjustment for completeness of ascertainment. For type 2 diabetes, the prevalence increased from 0.34 per 1,000 in 2001 to 0.46 per 1,000 in 2009.

The prevalence was highest among American-Indian youth (1.20 per 1,000) and lowest among white youth (0.17 per 1,000). Over eight years there was a 30.5 percent increase in type 2 diabetes after adjustment for completeness of ascertainment.

"Further studies are required to determine the causes of these increases," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Merck.

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