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Childhood Diabetes Boosts Risk for Kidney Problems
Date:12/29/2007

Lifestyle changes are key to avoiding complications, doctors say

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- As more and more American children are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, another serious problem is threatening their health.

Children and teens diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are five times more likely to develop kidney disease later in life than those who develop diabetes as adults, a recent study found.

The findings underscore the importance of preventing -- or at least delaying -- the onset of type 2 diabetes, doctors say.

"Since the development of diabetic kidney disease is strongly dependent on the duration of diabetes, developing diabetes in youth leads to a high risk of kidney disease in early- to mid-adulthood," said study author Dr. Robert G. Nelson, a staff clinician with the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

"For example," he said, "a 15-year-old person with 10 years of type 2 diabetes has the same risk of kidney disease as a 55-year-old with 10 years of type 2 diabetes."

Diabetes is becoming increasingly prevalent among children and teens, largely due to the obesity epidemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that among new cases of childhood diabetes, up to 43 percent are type 2 disease.

While type 2 diabetes can affect children of any race or ethnic group, it's more common among non-white individuals, the CDC reports. The Pima Indians of Arizona currently have the highest recorded rates of diabetes in the world, at 50.9 per 1,000 individuals, according to the CDC.

Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. Initially, small amounts of albumin, a blood protein, begin to leak into the urine. As the amount of albumin in the urine increases, the filtering function of the kidneys begins to decline. It may take 15 to 25 years for kidney failure to occur. Native Americans, blacks and His
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