Almost 20% US Adolescents Have Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Andy Menke PhD Social & Scientific Systems Inc Silver Spring, MD 20910

Dr. Andy Menke

Andy Menke PhD
Social & Scientific Systems, Inc.
Silver Spring, MD, 20910

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Limited information was available on the prevalence of diabetes among adolescents in the US, particularly the percentage that are undiagnosed and unaware of the condition. We found that 0.8% of adolescents 12-19 years of age had diabetes and 18% had prediabetes. Of those with diabetes, 29% overall were unaware of it and this increased to 40% among Hispanic adolescents and 50% among non-Hispanic black adolescents.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response:A large percentage of adolescents with diabetes are unaware of it, particularly Hispanic and non-Hispanic black adolescents, and these young people likely have type 2 diabetes. Physicians need to better screen the youth at highest risk for diabetes and to educate people on the risk factors for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. For type 2 diabetes, learning how to reduce that risk can help improve outcomes by avoiding or delaying the onset of diabetes complications..

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further research among adolescents is needed examining trends in undiagnosed diabetes over time and factors associated with those trends over time. In addition, we previously found that US Asian adults were at high risk for diabetes and were less likely to be aware of the condition, but in this study we did not have enough Asian adolescents to estimate diabetes prevalence. Further studies with a sufficient number of US Asian adolescents are necessary to determine the prevalence of diabetes and the percent that are unaware of the condition.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This study was funded by the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Free resources on diabetes risk factors and disease management, as well as type 2 diabetes prevention, are available from the National Diabetes Education Program at www.ndep.nih.gov.

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