A three-year-old girl in the US may be the youngest person to ever be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a condition that affects the middle-aged and the elderly.
Details of the case being presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, Sweden highlights how more and more children are now getting affected by both obesity and Type-2 diabetes.
"Based on symptoms, physical findings of obesity and laboratory results the diagnosis of Type-2 diabetes was made," said Michael Yafi from University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston, Texas in the US who presented the case.
One of the youngest to be diagnosed with debilitating disease, she had symptoms of excessive urination and thirst. However her past medical history was unremarkable.
She was born full term with a weight of 3.2 kg. Although both parents were obese, there was no history of diabetes.
A review of the child's diet revealed poor family nutritional habits with uncontrolled counting of calories and fat.
On physical examination, the child's weight was 35 kg (in the top five percent of all children her age), and her height and body mass index (BMI) were also in the top five percent of all children her age.
She underwent tests to rule out other potential causes of her obesity and weight gain. She tested negative for antibodies that would reveal Type-1 diabetes.
"Reversal of Type-2 diabetes in children is possible by early screening of obese children, early diagnosis, appropriate therapy and lifestyle modification," Yafi noted.
Six months after diagnosis, the girl was at 75 percent of the weight she had been when she presented for treatment, had normal blood glucose levels, and had stopped metformin therapy.
"The incidence of Type-2 diabetes has increased dramatically worldwide in children due to the epidemic of child obesity," Yafi said.