|CDC study: Diabetes cases expected to rise in American youth|
|December 06, 2012|
The number of American youths with Type 2 diabetes could increase by almost 50 percent by the middle of this century, according to a study published in the December issue of Diabetes Care. The study includes research by Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD, nutrition professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health.
The spike could have dire consequences for the nation's health-care system.
The study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) also found that prevalence of Type 1 diabetes could jump by 23 percent among youths by mid-century.
The estimates are based on findings by SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth, a national multi-center study aimed at understanding more about diabetes among children and young adults in the U.S. Mayer-Davis is principal investigator for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study site and serves as national co-chair for the multi-center study.
Continuing to follow trends in the numbers of youth with diabetes will be critical. Diabetes already is responsible for more than 25 percent of the nation's Medicare budget, so a steep rise in the number of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes cases in youth poses a real threat to the U.S. health delivery system as health-care needs and costs grow.
Mayer-Davis and colleagues emphasized that little is known about how to prevent Type 1 diabetes -- most often diagnosed during childhood -- and that more study is needed. Researchers do know that increased physical activity and weight loss can reduce significantly the risk for Type 2 diabetes in adults, and similar approaches are likely to reduce risk in young people.
"As these youth age, having diabetes can profoundly affect their productivity, quality of life, and life expectancy and increases health-care costs," Mayer-Davis and the researchers explain. "Even in childhood, the medical expenditures of youth with diabetes are approximately 6.2 times those without diabetes. The health-care system and society as a whole will need to plan and prepare for the delivery of quality health care to meet the needs of the growing number of youth with diabetes."
The report recommends that future planning include strategies for implementing childhood obesity prevention programs and primary prevention programs for youth at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Likewise, effective measures for the prevention of diabetes-related complications should be available to all youth with diabetes.
Mayer-Davis has co-written more than 20 papers for SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth, including reports on diabetes and cardiovascular disease risks; incidence of diabetes in racial and ethnic populations, especially in Asian, black and Hispanic youth; the effects of body size and age on diabetes onset; and the role of diet and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. She is active in the American Diabetes Association and is the immediate past president for health care and education.
Diabetes Care, published by the American Diabetes Association, is the leading peer-reviewed journal of clinical research into one of the nation's leading causes of death by disease.
|Last updated December 06, 2012|