A new report highlights that an increasing number of children and teens are being diagnosed with diabetes in America.
The ‘Incidence Trends of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes among Youths’ report, authored by researchers at the University of North Carolina, shows an earlier age of onset for type 2 diabetes and a significant increase in type 1 diabetes cases among certain populations.
The findings, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, also evidence disparities relative to ethnic groups and gender in the increase of diagnosed cases of both types of diabetes.
The new diabetes statistics originated from data collected between 2002 through 2012 as part of the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study, which involved 11,244 young people with type 1 diabetes aged 0-19 years and 2,846 young adults with type 2 diabetes aged 10-19.
Overall, during that period, the rate of new diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes in youth increased by about 1.8 per cent each year, while the number of new diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes rose even more sharply, with a yearly increase of 4.8 per cent.
Significant increases were seen for all age groups, except those aged zero to four years. Among those under the age of 20, and across ethnic groups, new diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes increased more annually in males (2.2 per cent) than in females (1.4 per cent).
When it comes to new diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes in the 10-19 age group, however, the increase was much more pronounced in females (6.3 per cent) than in males (3.7).
The report broke down these trends further for diagnosed cases of both diabetes types by looking at variations across different ethnic groups in the US, including Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans.
It has found that the rate of new diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes increased most sharply in Hispanic youth (4.2 per cent). The second most important increase was in the non-Hispanic black community (2.2 per cent).
Among youth aged 10-19, the biggest increase in the incidence of diagnosed type 2 diabetes was seen in Native Americans (8.9 per cent), Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (8.5 per cent), and non-Hispanic blacks (6.3 per cent).
The findings suggest that the growth in the occurrence of type 2 diabetes, which is not shared equally by all young Americans, could be due to the simultaneous increase in the prevalence of obesity.
The report also rings an alarm bell on diabetes-related complications exposure risks at a younger age as a consequence of the increase in the early development of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

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