AURORA, Col. (JAMA) — A new study reveals more kids are being diagnosed with diabetes in America. Type 1 diabetes is a life-long condition, usually requiring patients to inject themselves with insulin every day for the rest of their life. Type 2 diabetes can also be a life-long issue requiring close monitoring and medication if lifestyle changes aren’t effective.
Dr. Dana Dabelea from the Colorado School of Public Health and co-authors identified children from birth to 19 years old with both types of diabetes over an eight year period. Patients came from four geographic areas across the country and also from the membership of a managed health care plan.
“The prevalence of Type 1 diabetes has increased by at least 21%,” says Dr. Dabelea. “This increase was seen in both boys and girls and most age groups and racial ethnic groups that we, we explored.”
Researchers also report a 30% increase in Type 2 diabetes. The study appears in JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Dabelea says “most of it is due to the obesity epidemic in children. we saw similar increases in white and black children. the largest increase we saw was in Hispanic children.” However, Type 2 diabetes did not increase significantly in American Indian and Asian children.
Based on this study, researchers estimate that in the U.S. in 2009, more than 165, 000 young people had Type 1 diabetes and more than 20,000 had Type 2.