Are we poised for a flood of new type 2 diabetes cases among young people? Elizabeth Tracey reports

September 4, 2021

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The majority of people with diabetes who were only in their twenties had a least one complication of the condition already, a recent study shows. Rita Kalyani, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, says this study points very squarely to obesity as the underlying cause.

Kalyani: If we take a step back and ask ourselves why are so many youth now being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to develop it, but really it’s becoming an epidemic in youth as well. And when we look at BMI as a measure of obesity, the average BMI in this cohort was 35. These children were quite obese. This is not necessarily generalizable to the population of children in the United States but it shows how important weight management is from a young age.  :33

Kalyani notes that long term complications of diabetes are also linked to increased rates of cardiovascular disease and earlier death. She urges policymakers to focus on mitigating the childhood obesity epidemic we’re witnessing worldwide. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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