Type 2 diabetes is more commonly associated with adults. However, its frequency has markedly increased in the pediatric age group.
Private health insurance claim lines with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis
more than doubled in the pediatric population (ages 0 to 22 years) from
2011 to 2015, increasing 109%, according to data from FAIR
Health, a national, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to
bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance
‘Private health insurance claim lines with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis more than doubled in the pediatric population (ages 0 to 22 years) from 2011 to 2015, increasing 109%.’
This finding, reported in the new FAIR Health white paper,
Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes as Documented in Private Claims Data:
Spotlight on This Growing Issue among the Nation's Youth, runs counter
to the common appellation of "adult-onset diabetes" for type 2 diabetes.
Drawing on FAIR Health's database of over 21 billion privately
billed healthcare claims, the new report shows that claim lines with a
diagnosis of obesity, a condition that contributes to type 2 diabetes,
also increased across the pediatric population from 2011 to 2015. The
largest increase among pediatric patients is 154%, in the age
group 19 to 22 years.
Gender Differences in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
Except in the case of the middle school age group (ages 10 to
13), claim lines with an obesity diagnosis occurred more often in
females during the period 2011-2015 than in males; in that middle school
age group, the diagnosis appeared in claims for both males and females
at approximately the same rate. Afterward, beginning in early high
school (ages 14-16), the rate of claim lines with an obesity diagnosis
for females exceeded claim lines that included an obesity diagnosis for
males through college age (ages 19-22), at which point the gender
distribution became the same as in adults over 22: 72% female to
28% male. By contrast, claim lines with a type 2 diabetes
diagnosis were more common for males than females in most pediatric age
Other Obesity-Related Diagnoses
During the period 2011-2015, other conditions associated with
obesity also increased in claim lines among young people. The conditions
included obstructive sleep apnea and hypertension, both of which were
more common in claim lines for males than females.
In the report, FAIR Health also compared the percent of claim
lines for pediatric type 2 diabetes diagnoses to the percent of claim
lines for all pediatric medical claims by state. Using that standard,
pediatric type 2 diabetes was most prevalent in the period 2011-2015 in
Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Utah and South Dakota. It was least
prevalent in New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware, Hawaii and Rhode Island.