Diabetes surge to impact those younger than 20 in the US according to study

Published: Dec. 31, 2022 at 4:40 PM CST
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ATLANTA, GA - According to the latest modeling study published by Diabetes Care, December 30, 2022, SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth, researchers state that between the years of 2017 and 2060, they expect to see a significant increase in those under the age of 20 being diagnosed with diabetes, both type one and type 2. The study was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

“Increases in diabetes, especially among young people, are always worrisome, but these numbers are alarming. This study’s startling projections of type 2 diabetes increases shows why it is crucial to advance health equity and reduce the widespread disparities that already take a toll on people’s health,” states Christopher Holliday, PhD, MPH, MA, FACHE, director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation.

According to the study, the expected upward trend may lead to as many as 220,000 young people having type 2 diabetes in 2060, an increase of almost 700 percent of the current statistics. The number of type one diabetes could increase by as much as 65 percent in the next 40 years. If the rate would continue at its current rate, type 2 diabetes diagnoses would increase by 70 percent, which would increase by 22,000 young people in 2060, and type one diabetes would increase at a rate of 3 percent by 2060, according to the study.

Type 1 diabetes is more common in American youth today, but type 2 has dramatically increased in young people in the past two decades. In 2017, 213,000 young people, those in their 20s, were diagnosed with diabetes (both type 1 and type 2). By 2060, that number is expected to jump to 526,000, according to the study.

There could be several explanations for the rise in type 2 diabetes, including the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity. The presence of diabetes in people of childbearing age might be another important factor, as maternal diabetes increases risk of diabetes in children.

Those diagnosed with diabetes are more prone to heart disease, stroke, diabetes complications, and premature death than a person who does not have the disease. To learn more about type 2 diabetes, and how to prevent it, contact https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevent-type-2.

“This new research should serve as a wake-up call for all of us. It’s vital that we focus our efforts to ensure all Americans, especially our young people, are the healthiest they can be. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored how critically important it is to address chronic diseases, like diabetes. This study further highlights the importance continuing efforts to prevent and manage chronic diseases, not only for our current population, but also for generations to come,” stated CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director, Debra Houry, MD, MPH.