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Diabetes in youth expected to rise in coming decades

Recent research projects the prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes among youths will rise through 2060.

The prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes among youths is expected to increase throughout the next few decades, according to research published in Diabetes Care.

To estimate the trends of diabetes among racial and ethnic pediatric groups through 2060, investigators analyzed the prevalence of diabetes in 2017 and the incidence from 2017 to 2022. Data was evaluated by diabetes type, age, sex, race, and ethnicity.

Research methods were based on the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study, which evaluated diabetes data from 2002 to 2017. Using data and a mathematical model from the study, researchers were able to predict future trends and the prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes among individuals aged under 20 years.

Investigators projected diabetes cases among youths would rise to 239,000 in 2060, made up of 191,000 type 1 cases and 48,000 type 2 cases. In comparison, there were 213,000 cases in 2017,185,000 of which were type 1 cases and 28,000 were type 2 cases. This data is based on the assumption that the incidence will remain constant as observed in 2017.

Should the incidence of diabetes follow increasing trends from 2002 to 2017, there will be 526,000 cases of diabetes in 2060, 306,000 of which will be type 1 cases and 220,000will be type 2 cases. This would be a 65% increase in type 1 diabetes and a 673% increase in type 2 diabetes.

An ethnic disparity in the rising cases is also expected, with non-Hispanic Black youths seeing the highest prevalence of cases. In total, diabetes trends among youths will rise, indicating a need for prevention methods to be implemented.

Reference:

Tonnies T, Brinks R, Isom S, Dabelea D, Divers J, Mayer-Davis EJ, et al. 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. Diabetes Care. 2022. doi:10.2337/dc22-0945