For children and adults in the U.S., the prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes increased significantly over 16 years from 2001 to 2017. (Prevalence is the proportion of the population with a given condition.) Overall, the data show a larger increase in type 2 diabetes. For example, the relative increase in type 2 diabetes among children and teens was 95.3% compared to a 45.1% relative increase in type 1 diabetes. We also know that type 2 diabetes in children is linked to obesity.

More people in the U.S. with diabetes

Most people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes; however, in children and young people, type 1 diabetes is still more common than type 2 diabetes. This means that more children and teens will have diabetes as they become adults. This will increase their chances of having diabetes-related complications, including heart problems, kidney problems, nerve damage, and eye damage. As a result, a growing number of people in the U.S. will need to include diabetes management and treatment into their daily lives.

Study details

This study included data from over 3.35 million people under 20 years of age across six U.S. states, including California, Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina, Washington and some American Indian reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. Researchers looked at diabetes prevalence in 2001, 2009 and 2017.

Healthy lifestyle and weight management for diabetes management

Looking forward, doctors and health care providers can play an important role in helping children, teens and their families learn about healthy lifestyle choices and the importance of maintaining a healthy weight.


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