Share on PinterestNew research predicts the number of children living with type 2 diabetes could dramatically increase in the near future. Phynart Studio/Getty Images
- A new report predicts a dramatic surge in the number of children who have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes over the next 37 years.
- Some experts, including from the CDC, say the information is a wake-up call, but some doctors caution that the study’s design may inflate the numbers.
- Experts say there are ways to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The number of people under 20 living with diabetes could skyrocket over the next 37 years, according to a new report.
The study, published in Diabetes Care, is based on modeling that forecasts a rise in diabetes cases in the under-20 crowd from 2017-2060.
On the high end, type 2 diabetes could surge nearly 700% to 220,000 in people 20 and younger — a startling number when you consider the CDC currently lists being 45 and older as a risk factor for the disease.
Type 1 diabetes, which is more commonly diagnosed in childhood and adolescence, could rise 65% to 306,000.
In total, the research projects that 526,000 people under 20 may have type 1 or type 2 diabetes by 2060 compared to 213,000 individuals in the same age group in 2017.
However, the projection is just that — a projection. But the researchers noted that even if the rate of new diabetes diagnosis in this age group stayed stagnant over the next nearly four decades, it would still account for increases for both diabetes types (almost 70% for type 2 and almost 3% for type 1).
“This new research should serve as a wake-up call for all of us,” CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director Dr. Debra Houry, said in a news release. “It’s vital that we focus our efforts to ensure all Americans, especially our young people, are the healthiest they can be.”
Kimberly Gomer MS, RD/LDN, a Florida-based registered dietitian and the director of nutrition at Body Beautiful Miami, calls the statistics “sobering.”
“The life challenges and risks of diabetes for each person and their family, along with the economic and healthcare costs associated with those health problems, is astounding,” Gomer says.
Experts shared their thoughts on the study, reasons behind the potential surge, and ways parents can help their children reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers used a mathematical model …….