How is type 2 diabetes in childhood different than in adults? Elizabeth Tracey reports


There’s been a 77% increase in type 2 diabetes in childhood during the pandemic, research by Sheela Magge, a pediatric endocrinology expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues has shown. Magge says that while the condition goes by the same name, there are very important differences between type 2 diabetes in adults and children.

Magge: We know from previous scientific studies that type 2 diabetes during childhood seems to be different than during adulthood, in that the cells that make insulin, their ability to make insulin seems to deteriorate faster in youth onset diabetes. The kids do worse, and they can develop more complications. Although these may be small numbers, compared to the adults, adults may have undetected type 2 diabetes for years and then they could live many, many decades after and manage their diabetes. During childhood we’re finding high rates of complications, the kids don’t do well.   :35

Magge says parents need to be aware and seek care immediately. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.