Blog | Wednesday, May 23, 2012

QD: News Every Day--Teen diabetes rate more than doubles in a decade

Prediabetes/diabetes rates in teenagers increased from 9% to 23% in the past decade, researchers reported in a study.

Researchers looked cardiovascular risk data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which included 3,383 participants aged 12 to 19 years from the 1999 through 2008. Results appeared in Pediatrics.

There was a 15% prevalence rate for prediabetes (from a single blood draw, fasting plasma glucose level more than 99 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL) and diabetes (more than 126 mg/dL).

Prevalence rates were 14% for prehypertension/hypertension, 22% for borderline-high/high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, 6% for low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (less than 35 mg/dL). No significant change in the prevalence of prehypertension/hypertension (17% and 13%) and borderline-high/high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (23% and 19%) occurred from 1999-2000 to 2007–2008.

There was a dose-response increase in the prevalence of each risk factor by weight category. An estimated 37%, 49%, and 61% of overweight, obese, and normal-weight adolescents, respectively, had at least one risk factor.

The authors wrote, "Our findings are concerning given growing evidence demonstrating that CVD risk factors present during childhood may persist into adulthood. Moreover, atherosclerosis, a complex, multifactorial disease that affects millions of adults, may be first observed in childhood as atherosclerotic changes on the arterial wall."

Lifestyle changes offer hope, they continued. Awareness of the rising obesity rates, screening of children 6 years and older and better diet and exercise all show signs of stemming the tide.