A new study released on Monday shows that nearly a quarter of teens in the United States suffer from diabetes, a figure that is up 9% from ten years ago.
The study, “Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Among U.S. Adolescents, 1999-2008” whose authors were affiliated with The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, started out the study to determine why American teens are becoming more susceptible to cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death among adults in the U.S., according to The Washington Post.
Newser reports that the scientists examined data from almost 3,400 adolescents ages 12 to 19, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
According to The Washington Post, the researchers found little change in the past ten years for teens with hypertension or abnormal cholesterol. They also barely saw a change in the percentage of overweight and obese teens, although the figure of 34% is still scary.
CDC researcher and lead author Ashleigh May stated:
“I think this should be a cause for concern for everyone — for parents, for pediatricians, for everyone. These numbers are very high. We have a great opportunity to intervene to make changes early.”
CBS News reports that May stated further:
“I think parents have the opportunity to encourage their children to engage in healthy lifestyles. On the broader community level, we can promote healthy environments that make making healthy choices easier for kids.”
Following the study, the researchers are recommending wide-scale diabetes screenings for children who are 10 years and older, who are either overweight, obese, or have other risk factors for diabetes, including family history, The Washington Post reports.