Among youth in the United States, the growth of type 2 diabetes is 166% that of type 1. Seventy-five percent of youth diagnosed with type 2 diabetes develop one or more comorbidity by age 21, all but ensuring a lifetime of burdensome medical costs, diminished quality of life and a 50% higher risk of premature death as adults compared to the non-diabetic population.
The widening gap between type 1 and type 2 diagnoses among youth was brought to light by researchers at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health, whose findings were published in April 2017 in The New England Journal of Medicine. Analyzing national health data on youth ages 0-19 across a 12-year period, the researchers found the sharpest increase in type 2 diagnoses among Native Americans (8.9% increase), Asian American/Pacific Islanders (8.5%), non-Hispanic blacks (6.3%) and females (6.2% increase, compared to 3.7% for males).
A third of American adults will have diabetes by 2050. Many of them will have been diagnosed at a much younger age than diabetics of previous generations. Given the impact that age of onset has on health outcomes and costs of care, the burden of America’s growing diabetic population is being severely compounded by the growth of diabetes among youth. With today’s understaffed clinics and cash-strapped healthcare system already failing to meet the demand for essential diabetes care, how will America build capacity to meet the needs of tomorrow’s patient population, especially when most of those patients will eventually require insulin therapy? It will take a new generation of tools that are affordable and effective enough to elevate the baseline for diabetes care across the country—tools like our insulin titration software for clinicians. Learn more