Intended for healthcare professionals


Type 2 diabetes in children

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 17 February 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:377

Exemplifies the growing problem of chronic diseases

  1. Anne Fagot-Campagna, medical epidemiologist,
  2. K M Venkat Narayan, chief, diabetes epidemiology section (,
  3. Giuseppina Imperatore, medical epidemiologist
  1. Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop K-68, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus in children is an emotionally charged issue and an emerging public health problem. 1 2 Until recently most children with diabetes mellitus had type 1, one of the most common3 and increasingly prevalent4 chronic diseases in children. Increasingly, however, type 2 diabetes is being reported in children from the United States, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Libya, and Bangladesh.5

    The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children ranges from 4.1 per 1000 12-19 year olds in the US to 50.9 per 1000 15-19 year old Pima Indians of Arizona. 1 2 Between 8% and 45% of recently diagnosed cases of diabetes among children and adolescents in the United States is type 2, and the magnitude of this disease may be underestimated. 1 2 The prevalence of the disease is on the rise in North America, and its incidence almost doubled in Japan between 1976-80 and 1991-5—from 7.3 to 13.9 per 100 000 junior high school children.5 These trends coincide with the rising prevalence of overweight and physical …

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