Diabetes In Children: One Study Shows Cases Of Type 1 And 2 Rising Sharply, Another Study Offers Hope

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald April 16, 04:00 am
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Children with diabetes testify before Congress. Experts recently learned new cases are on the rise but there are some positive outcomes as well.
(Photo : Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Two new studies on diabetes in children revealed current trends that are both alarming and hopeful. One study learned cases of Type 1 and 2 diabetes are rising sharply among America's kids, while another study offered hope that children with diabetes have lowered stroke and heart disease risks.

The first study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, saw an increase in Type 1 and 2 diabetes diagnosis from 2002 to 2012 among children in ethnic minority families. New cases of Type 2 diabetes, a condition usually associated with obesity, were up 5 percent per year. New cases of Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease where the body becomes insulin resistant, were up 2 percent per year.

Among the ethnic minorities, experts saw an annual rise among 2.2 percent male patients and 1.4 percent female patients between ages zero to 19. They also saw a 4.2 percent annual rise among Hispanic youths with Type 1 diabetes and 3.1 percent among Hispanic youths with Type 2 diabetes.

"These findings lead to many more questions," Dr. Barbara Linder of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases said, as per USA Today. "We need to understand why the increase in rates of diabetes development varies so greatly and is so concentrated in specific racial and ethnic groups."

The second study on diabetes in children dealt with cardiovascular diseases and risks. The experts from Sweden also published their findings in the same New England journal.

They looked into the Swedish National Database health records from 1998 to 2012 of 37,000 Type 1 patients and 457,000 Type 2 patients. Experts saw a 40 percent decline of heart diseases like stroke among Type 1 patients and a 20 percent drop in heart-related issues and deaths among Type 2 patients.

Experts found more hope in this study as it showed how efforts in curbing diabetes complications are working. "Because of research in diabetes, we've been able to improve the lives of millions of people with diabetes around the world, but the disease is still increasing worldwide," Dr. William Cefalu of the American Diabetes Association said, as per CBS News.

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