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Survey Reveals Alarming Prevalence Rates of Diabetes among US Adolescents

A national survey conducted in the US estimates that the type 2 diabetes may be prevalent among nearly 39, 000 adolescents. //More than 2.5 million have been projected to have impaired blood glucose levels (fasting blood sugar) placing them at increased risk of diabetes and other serious health problems. The findings of the study are presented in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Type 2 diabetes occurs due to improper utilization of insulin in the body is being recognized as a public health problem in the United States, with more than 18.2 million citizens being afflicted with the disease. Nearly 210, 000 adolescents are in the pre-diabetes stage. The situation is being further threatened by the looming obesity epidemic.

The study was conducted among a group of 4,370 participants, between the age of 12 to 19 years. 1, 496 of the study participants who reported that they had not been told by their physician that they had diabetes had their fasting blood glucose levels tested. Alarmingly, about 11% of the study participants had impaired fasting glucose levels. The prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes was found to be 71% and 29% respectively.

When the results of the study are extrapolated to the entire U.S adolescent population, this equates to 134,071 individuals (12 to 19 yrs) with diabetes, 39,005 adolescents with type 2 diabetes and 2,769,736, in the prediabetes stage.

‘The prevalence of type 2 diabetes and impaired fasting glucose levels is substantial among U.S. adolescents. These estimates have important implications for public health because of the high rate of conversion from impaired fasting glucose level to type 2 diabetes in adults and the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in individuals with type 2 diabetes,’ concluded Dr. Duncan, senior author of the study.


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