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One in 523 Children and Adolescents Have Diabetes

ause there was such a lack of systematically collected population-based prevalence data, especially for Type 2 diabetes,” said Angela D. Liese, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, the lead author.

“This important study has been extremely challenging due to the great difficulty of accurately finding all the cases of diabetes in this age group,” said Michael Engelgau, M.D., acting director of the Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “However, the effort is well worth it. This information will be critical to understanding this disease in children, which will lead to actions to better control it and to minimize its effects on our younger generation,” he said.

“This study addresses an important gap in our knowledge, providing national estimates on the prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children,” said Judith Fradkin, M.D., director, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK.)

Liese said that study investigators would continue to track the incidence of diabetes cases in all of the various population groups over the next few years.

“Increasing obesity in children began in the late 1980s or early 1990s, and people have speculated that the increase in obesity is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in youth,” Liese said.

The study investigators write, “Diabetes is one of the leading chronic diseases in childhood and adolescence.” The prevalence of 1.82 per thousand is higher, for instance, than the rate of 1.24 per thousand for cancer, but lower than asthma (120 per thousand).

“Diabetes affects quality of life severely for these youth, has a major impact on their families, and has a significant public health impact,” the investigators say in the report. “Persons diagnosed with diabetes before 20 years of age hav
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