Nearly 25% of Teens Have Diabetes

Diabetes, prediabetes rates in teens take big jump: study
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2012 4:31 PM CDT
Nearly 25% of Teens Face Diabetes
Judith Garcia, 19, fills a syringe as she prepares to give herself an injection of insulin at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Commerce, Calif., Sunday, April 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Turns out the kids aren't alright: Some 23% of American teenagers have diabetes or prediabetes; 10 years ago, that number was 9%, a new study says. Researchers stumbled on the find while analyzing data on nearly 3,400 adolescents, trying to explain their susceptibility to cardiovascular disease. Teen rates of high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity were all about the same—but the diabetes numbers jumped out, the Washington Post reports.

The study found a steady rise since 1999, but didn't break down the diabetes data—between Type 1 and Type 2, say, or degrees of severity. The authors do make a suggestion, however: diabetes screenings for kids 10 and up who are overweight or have other risk factors. “These numbers are very high," said CDC researcher Ashleigh May, one of the authors. "I think parents have the opportunity to encourage their children to engage in healthy lifestyles." (See how hard Type 2 diabetes is on overweight teens.)

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