Children With Type 2 Diabetes More Likely to Develop Complications as Teenagers

by Dr. Meenakshy Varier on  February 28, 2017 at 10:41 PM Health Watch
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  • The prevalence of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is increasing among children and young adults.
  • Children who develop type 2 diabetes have higher risk of complications as teenagers compared to those children who develop type 1 diabetes.
  • Some complications include diabetic kidney disease, retinopathy, peripheral neuropathy, arterial stiffness and hypertension.
Teenagers and young adults who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during childhood or adolescence face higher risk of complications, compared to those diagnosed with type 1 diagnosis.
Children With Type 2 Diabetes More Likely to Develop Complications as Teenagers
Children With Type 2 Diabetes More Likely to Develop Complications as Teenagers

But complications were frequent in both groups.

Type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents have been increasing recently since the beginning in the early to mid-1990s.

The prevalence of Type 1 diabetes has also been increasing both worldwide and in the United States.


Diabetes accounts for 5th most common cause of death in the world.

In 2013, 382 million people were known to have diabetes. By 2035 this may rise to 592 million.

Type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1 diabetes and accounts for 90% of all diabetes worldwide.

45% of children with newly diagnosed diabetes have Type 2 diabetes and most are overweight or obese at diagnosis.

The number of people living with diabetes is greatly increasing in low- and middle-income countries (80%).

Differences in Complications

Dana Dabelea, M.D., Ph.D., of the Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, and colleagues sought to examine the difference in the pattern of complications according to the type of diabetes at similar ages and duration of the disease.

Researchers recruited 2,018 participants with type 1 and type 2 diabetes diagnosed at younger than 20 years, estimated with the prevalence of multiple diabetes-related complications.

Among them 1,746 had type 1 diabetes and 272 had type 2.

Average diabetes duration was 7.9 years in both groups.

The researchers found that approximately 1 in 3 teenagers and young adults with type 1 diabetes (32%) and almost 3 among 4 of those with type 2 diabetes (72%) had a complication.

Patients with type 2 diabetes had higher prevalence for the following complications compared to those with type 1:
  • diabetic kidney disease (19.9% vs 5.8% )
  • retinopathy (9.1% vs 5.6% )
  • peripheral neuropathy (17.7% vs 8.5% )
  • arterial stiffness (47.4% vs 11.6% )
  • hypertension (21.6% vs 10.1% )
After adjusting for various risk factors measured over time, participants with type 2 diabetes significantly had higher odds of diabetic kidney disease, retinopathy, and peripheral neuropathy compared to those with type 2 diabetes.

But the difference in the risk of developing arterial stiffness and hypertension was not significant among those with type 2 diabetes.

"These findings support early monitoring of youth with diabetes for development of complications," the authors write.

The study appears in the issue of JAMA.

  1. Diabetes Facts and Figures - (//

Source: Medindia

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