Type 2 Diabetes Riskier for Kids than Adults

Developing Type 2 diabetes in childhood or adolescence carries a greater risk for complications and death than for those who develop the disease in middle age

Developing Type 2 diabetes in childhood or adolescence carries a greater risk for complications and death than for those who develop the disease in middle age.

Researchers at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, University of Sydney in Australia and the Riyadh Military Hospital in Saudi Arabia found this inverse relationship when they compared the institution’s data on the prevalence of complications in two groups. The first group involved 354 patients who had developed Type 2 diabetes between the ages of 15 and 30 years.

These patients were matched for duration of disease with a second group of 1,062 patients diagnosed between ages 40 and 50. For comparison, the team also compared standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) in 15,238 patients with a wide range of ages of onset from the Australian National Death Index

Compared with older adults who had Type 2 diabetes for the same amount of time, those in the younger age group had more severe albuminuria, a sign of kidney damage, and neuropathy, or nerve damage, scores. Both groups had similar levels of metabolic syndrome factors, but the younger group was treated for hypertension and high cholesterol less frequently.

They also found an inverse relationship between age of onset and standardized mortality ratios, whereas those who developed Type 2 diabetes later in life had similar SMRs to the background population.

According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in teens over the past 30 years, and with it has come an alarming increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in young people.

“These results highlight the growing imperative to direct attention toward young-onset T2DM and for effective interventions to be applied before middle age,” the authors wrote. Their findings were published online ahead of print on March 22 in Diabetes Care

Abstract: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2016/03/19/dc15-0991.abstract