Diabetes Week: U.S. Youth Are Increasingly Vulnerable To Type 2 And At Risk For Serious Diabetes-Related Complications
New diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes increased significantly among U.S. youth between 2002-2015, according to a 2020 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Type 2 was once known as adult-onset diabetes but can also seriously affect much younger patients. Research shows that adolescents with type 2 diabetes are at high risk of developing serious complications early in adulthood.
A recently published study of South Texas youth showed that 60% of participants ages 10-17 at the time of enrollment had at least one diabetes-related complication within 15 years of a type 2 diagnosis. Nearly a third had two or more complications.
More than 75% of children diagnosed with type 2 have a close relative who has it, too. One in seven people in Bexar County has diabetes and many more cases go undiagnosed.
About a third of youth in America are overweight and therefore more likely to have insulin resistance — a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
In addition to lifestyle modifications, experts say more treatment options are needed for children under 18 diagnosed with type 2.
How does type 2 diabetes present in children? What are the signs and symptoms?
What can be done to minimize the damage from serious complications? What treatments are available?
Why are minority and racial ethnic groups including Hispanics more at risk for this chronic illness?
What proactive measures can parents and guardians take to prevent their kids from getting type 2 diabetes?
- Jane Lynch, MD, professor of pediatric endocrinology in the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio and physician with University Health's Texas Diabetes Institute
- Fida Bacha, MD, associate professor of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children’s Hospital
- Rose Ann Barajas, clinical research coordinator in pediatric type 2 diabetes at UT Health San Antonio
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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, August 24.