Those people who develop type 2 diabetes before they reach 20 years of age end up facing much higher mortality rates when they reach middle age. The findings were reported in the Journal of the American Medical Associatio, the results of research at the National Institutes of Health in Phoenix, Arizona .
The news follows reports that rising rates of obesity and metabolic syndrome have prompted a significant increase in children and adolescents facing the development of type 2 diabetes. The researchers used data from a 37-year study of Pima Indians, an ethnic group extremely prone to type 2 diabetes development.
End-stage renal failure appeared as a significant threat, occurring five times as much amongst young people who developed diabetes in their youth as opposed to those who developed the disease after 20 years of age.
According to the researchers, the condition is serious: “The longer duration of diabetes mellitus by middle age in individuals diagnosed younger than 20 years largely accounts for these outcomes. Because youth-onset diabetes mellitus leads to substantially increased complication rates and mortality in middle age, efforts should focus on preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes.”

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