More Young People Developing Diabetes, New Study Says

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.

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*Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol, when symptoms do not match system readings when you suspect readings may be in accurate, or when you experience symptoms that may be due to high or low blood glucose.

Reference 1: Data on file. Abbott Diabetes Care. 2, FreeStyle Libre 14 day User’s Manual

Indications and Important Safety Information

FreeStyle Libre and FreeStyle Libre 14 day Flash Glucose Monitoring systems are continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices indicated for replacing blood glucose testing and detecting trends and tracking patterns aiding in the detection of episodes of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, facilitating both acute and long-term therapy adjustments in persons (age 18 and older) with diabetes. The systems are intended for single patient use and require a prescription.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Remove the sensor before MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or diathermy treatment.

WARNINGS/LIMITATIONS: Do not ignore symptoms that may be due to low or high blood glucose, hypoglycemic unawareness, or dehydration. Check sensor glucose readings with a blood glucose meter when Check Blood Glucose symbol appears, when symptoms do not match system readings, or when readings are suspected to be inaccurate. The system does not have alarms unless the sensor is scanned, and the system contains small parts that may be dangerous if swallowed. The system is not approved for pregnant women, persons on dialysis, or critically-ill population. Sensor placement is not approved for sites other than the back of the arm and standard precautions for transmission of blood borne pathogens should be taken. The built-in blood glucose meter is not for use on dehydrated, hypotensive, in shock, hyperglycemic-hyperosmolar state, with or without ketosis, neonates, critically-ill patients, or for diagnosis or screening of diabetes. When using FreeStyle LibreLink app, access to a blood glucose monitoring system is required as the app does not provide one. Review all product information before use or contact Abbott Toll Free (855-632-8658) or visit www.freestylelibre.us for detailed indications for use and safety information.html. . FreeStyle, Libre, and related brand marks are trademarks of Abbott Diabetes Care Inc. in various jurisdictions. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2018 Abbott. ADC-09691 vLO 10/18