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2023-01-03| Trending

CDC Says Childhood Diabetes Could Increase Nearly 700% By 2060

by Reed Slater
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In a dramatic press release to close out 2022, the CDC said childhood type 2 diabetes could increase almost seven-fold over the next 40 years, citing a recent projection published by the American Diabetes Association. The CDC said the alarming increases in diabetes rates primarily affect minority groups throughout the country and should serve as a “wake-up call” for the nation. 

The Devastating Effects of Diabetes

In 2017, 213,000 Americans under 20 had diabetes. Type 1 diabetes accounted for 185,000 of these cases, with type 2 diabetes accounting for the remaining 28,000. Type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition that often shows up early in life, while type 2 diabetes develops primarily through unhealthy lifestyle habits.

People living with diabetes face a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and a laundry list of diabetes complications. Some complications include nerve, kidney, and eye damage, hearing impairment, increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, skin and mouth conditions, and many more. 

According to the CDC, type 1 diabetes remains common in people under 20, but the increase in people with type 2 diabetes is the most alarming. The press release suggested increasing childhood obesity rates may be a contributing factor to the rise in type 2 diabetes. It also noted that maternal diabetes increases a child’s risk of developing diabetes. 

Christopher Holliday, director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, said, “Increases in diabetes—especially among young people—are always worrisome, but these numbers are alarming.”

Related Article: Pfizer Begins Phase 2 Of Diabetes Drug, Triggering $10 Million Milestone To Sosei Heptares

Cause for Concern Among American Youth

The study published in diabetesjournal.org highlighted some trends in childhood type 2 diabetes increases and warned of a potential surge in the coming years. One of the key findings from the study pointed to the higher type 2 diabetes prevalence in minority populations compared to non-minority populations.

If the trend continues to rise at the same rate, the study projected that 239,000 people under 20 will have diabetes in 2060. More troubling, corresponding relative increases point to a much higher number, with type 2 diabetes incidences increasing by 673% by 2060.

Acting Principal Deputy Director at the CDC, Debra Houry, said, “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…This study further highlights the importance of continuing efforts to prevent and manage chronic diseases, not only for our current population but also for generations to come.”

Increasing childhood obesity rates and their ties to type 2 diabetes is a cause for concern across America. The effects of a surge as big as the CDC and the American Diabetes Association are warning about would be huge on the healthcare infrastructure and individual lives across the country. With foresight in its favor, the CDC hopes to further preventative measures to keep the worst from happening, keeping the nation’s youth healthy and safe in the process. 

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