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US faces huge rise in adolescents with T2DM

The United States could see a huge rise in type 2 diabetes among young people over the next several decades, according to a modelling from a study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Up to 220,000 young people under the age of 20 could have type 2 diabetes in 2060, which would represent a nearly eight-fold increase, a research team that included scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"This new research should serve as a wake-up call for all of us. It's vital that we focus our efforts to ensure all Americans, especially our young people, are the healthiest they can be," explained CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director, Dr Debra Houry. "The COVID-19 pandemic underscored how critically important it is to address chronic diseases, like diabetes. This study further highlights the importance of continuing efforts to prevent and manage chronic diseases, not only for our current population but also for generations to come."

To project the prevalence and number of youths with diabetes and trends in racial and ethnic disparities in the US through 2060, the researchers used a mathematical model and data from the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study for calendar years 2002–2017.

They calculated that the number of youths with diabetes will increase from 213,000 (95% CI 209,000; 218,000) (type 1 diabetes 185,000, type 2 diabetes 28,000) in 2017 to 239,000 (95% CI 209,000; 282,000) (type 1 diabetes 191,000, type 2 diabetes 48,000) in 2060 if the incidence remains constant as observed in 2017.

Corresponding relative increases were 3% (95% CI −9%; 21%) for type 1 diabetes and 69% (95% CI 43%; 109%) for type 2 diabetes. Assuming that increasing trends in incidence observed between 2002 and 2017 continue, the projected number of youths with diabetes will be 526,000 (95% CI 335,000; 893,000) (type 1 diabetes 306,000, type 2 diabetes 220,000). Corresponding relative increases would be 65% (95% CI 12%; 158%) for type 1 diabetes and 673% (95% CI 362%; 1,341%) for type 2 diabetes.

The findings 'Projections of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Burden in the U.S. Population Aged <20 Years Through 2060: The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study', published in Diabetes Care, include that Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native youth would bear a higher burden of type 2 diabetes – with the highest prevalence among non-Hispanic Black youth.

"Increases in diabetes - especially among young people - are always worrisome, but these numbers are alarming," said Christopher Holliday, director of CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation. "This study's startling projections of type 2 diabetes increases show why it is crucial to advance health equity and reduce the widespread disparities that already take a toll on people's health."


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