Every day in the United States, someone receives a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and according to a new study, an increasing number of those individuals are young.
Published in August in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the study found that rates of diabetes in younger Americans rose dramatically between 2001 and 2017. The researchers also found that the rate of young people ages 10 to 19 with type 2 diabetes increased by 95 percent over that same 16-year period. The number of Americans under 20 diagnosed with type 1 diabetes increased by 45 percent.
The study’s authors examined data from about 3.5 million youths in six areas across the U.S: California, Colorado, South Carolina, Washington state, Ohio, and Arizona/New Mexico (Indian Health Services). The study’s conclusions about diabetes in young Americans made it clear that this is a matter of increasing concern, especially for Black and Hispanic youth.
Researchers found that:
- Per 1000 youths, the rate of type 1 diabetes grew from 1.48 in 2001, to 1.93 in 2009, and 2.15 in 2017, an increase of 45.1 percent.
- The prevalence of type 1 diabetes increased most among non-Hispanic white people (0.93 per 1,000) and non-Hispanic Black youths (0.89 per 1,000).
- Even though type 2 diabetes was comparatively less common, rates of type 2 diabetes among young people skyrocketed 95.3 percent, with increases more significant among Black and Hispanic youth.
Looking to explain these troubling numbers, the authors of the study wrote that “Changes in … risk factors appear to play a significant role,” noting that “Black and Mexican American teenagers experienced the greatest increase in prevalence of obesity/severe obesity from 1999 to 2018, which may contribute to race and ethnicity differences.”
The pandemic has only made matters worse. Young people, like everyone else, have made themselves more vulnerable to type 2 diabetes due to pandemic-related stress, weight gain caused by lack of exercise and physical activity and more access to food.
A diabetes diagnosis can be a hard pill for anyone to swallow, but it can be even more difficult for a younger person to come to terms with their condition. Lifestyle and diet changes and the need to closely and frequently monitor blood sugar levels are new wrinkles in life that can take time to get used to. One way to make things easier is through Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM). It is a tested, approved, accurate, and easy-to-use transceiver device that helps those with diabetes monitor keep abreast of their blood sugar levels 24/7 without any need to stop what their doing to take a blood sample.
If you recently received a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, speak with your doctor and contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.