IDF Atlas: 1 in 10 adults worldwide now has diabetes


Type 2 diabetes in youth: A call for better data

When presenting the data for childhood-onset type 2 diabetes, Andrea Luk, MD, noted: “The onset of advanced complications during the most productive time of life has significant impact on individuals, communities, and health economies.”

In 19 studies, the highest reported prevalence of type 2 diabetes in youth was in Brazil, Mexico, indigenous populations of the United States and Canada, and the Black population in the United States, with rates ranging from 160 per 100,000 to 3300 per 100,000. The lowest prevalence rates of 0.6 per 100,000 to 2.7 per 100,000 were reported in Europe. Incidence data were similar, with the highest rates from 31 per 100,000 to 94 per 100,000 and the lowest 0.1 per 100,000 to 0.8 per 100,000 per year.

Of note, Dr. Luk pointed out that childhood obesity is an important factor but not the only one.

“Some populations that have a low prevalence of obesity, such as East Asians, reported higher incidence rates of youth-onset type 2 diabetes than populations with a greater burden of childhood obesity.”

There was variability in incidence rates for youth of similar ethnic background but from different countries. “Apart from genetic predisposition and background obesogenic environment, disparity in socioeconomic status, access to health care, and cultural practices are other contributors to differences in risk of type 2 diabetes in youth,” noted Dr. Luk, associate professor in the division of endocrinology, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

She also noted that the incidence of type 2 diabetes was extremely low in prepubertal children and rises gradually during puberty, and that the incidence is higher in girls than boys but that reverses in adulthood.

Compared with adults with type 2 diabetes, youth with type 2 diabetes had a more adverse glycemic trajectory and higher rates of metformin failure.

And compared with youth with type 1 diabetes, those with type 2 diabetes had more adverse metabolic profiles and higher rates of vascular complications.

“A strong call must be made for the collection of trend data to assess global burden of type 2 diabetes in youth,” she concluded.

Dr. Luk reported serving as an advisory panel member for and/or receiving research support from Amgen, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi, the Asia Diabetes Foundation, Bayer, Lee’s Pharmaceutical, MSD, Novo Nordisk, Roche, Sugardown, and Takeda. The other authors reported no relevant financial relationships.

A version of this article first appeared on Medscape.com.


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