Study shows diabetes rates may rise among young people in the US
The number of people under 20 with type 2 diabetes in the U.S. could increase by nearly 675% by 2060 if trends continue, researchers say, with an increase of up to 65% in young people with type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes — in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin — is more common in young people in the U.S., but type 2 — in which the body doesn’t use insulin the way it should — has “increased significantly” in this age group in recent years. two decades, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A new studypublished this month in the American Diabetes Association’s journal Diabetes Care, used data from the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study, funded by the CDC and the National Institutes of Health.
The researchers found that if 2017 incidence rates remained unchanged over the coming decades, the number of young people with any type of diabetes would increase by 12% from 213,000 to 239,000. However, if incidence continues to rise as fast as it did between 2002 and 2017. , as many as 526,000 young people could have diabetes by 2060.
Researchers say young blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans/Alaskan are more likely to have a higher burden of type 2 diabetes than whites.
The marked increase in the expected rate of type 2 diabetes could have several causes, including the rise in childhood obesity rates and the presence of diabetes in people of reproductive age, the CDC says.
People with diabetes are at risk of complications including nerve damage, vision and hearing problems, kidney disease, heart disease and premature death. The disease can worsen more quickly in young people than in adults, which requires earlier medical care, the researchers point out. This, in turn, could increase demand on US health care systems and result in increased health care costs.
“This new research should serve as a wake-up call for all of us. It is vital that we focus our efforts to ensure that all Americans, especially our young people, are the healthiest they can be,” said Dr. Debra Houry, CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director, in a statement.
Christopher Holliday, director of the agency’s diabetes translational division, called the findings “alarming.”
“This study’s surprising projections of an increase in type 2 diabetes show why it is critical to advance health equity and reduce the widespread disparities that are already taking a toll on people’s health,” he said in a statement.