Spike In Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Among Children Linked To Obesity and Inactivity

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently stated that there has been a spike in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes of upwards of 30 percent among children and teenagers.

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong, but treatable disease found in children when the pancreases does not make insulin, leading to too much glucose in the blood.

Type 2 diabetes, a more common and controlled disease, occurs when blood sugar levels are too high and the body doesn’t make insulin well enough to combat the spike. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled through healthy diet, exercise and medications.

The research, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, and published in JAMA Saturday revealed that the prevalence of Type 1 diabetes increased 21 percent among children up to age 19, and the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes among those ages 10 to 19 rose 30 percent during the period.

Historical studies showed that Type 1 diabetes affected white Americans, but the new report found that there was an increase among Black and Hispanic youths between 15-to-19.

Those are “big numbers,” said Dr. Robin S. Goland, a co-director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, said to MSN. “In my career, Type 1 diabetes was a rare disease in children, and Type 2 disease didn’t exist. And I’m not that old.”

The study was part of a continuing study, Search for Diabetes in Youth, which examined the condition among children, and included data from more than three million children younger than 20 in five states — California, Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington — as well as from selected American Indian reservations, according to the NY Times.

“I don’t understand the basis for an increase,” Dr. Goland, who was not involved in the research revealed. “There are a few possibilities, but we need to figure it out if it’s something in the environment or something in our genes.”

Type 2 diabetes, historically referred to as the “adult-onset” diabetes because of its rarity in children, is thought to be brought on by a genetic predisposition to poor insulin action and secretion, which is often intensified by obesity and inactivity.

According to the NY Times, study authors speculated that the uptick in Type 2 diabetes may result from “minority population growth, obesity, exposure to diabetes in utero and perhaps endocrine-disrupting chemicals.”

The study concluded that type 2 diabetes would increase four-fold to roughly 84,000 cases in 2050.

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