Type 2 diabetes is happening more frequently in children, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Type 2 diabetes, often associated with obesity, is turning up much more frequently in kids since the Covid-19 pandemic began. That’s according to Sheela Magge, a childhood diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues.

Sheela Magge: We compared the first year of pandemic to the average of the two years previous to the pandemic. What we found was rates of new youth onset type 2 diabetes increased by 77%. And not only did more kids present with youth onset diabetes, they seemed to be sicker. So they were coming in with some kind of metabolic decompensation, often hospitalized. With that increase in metabolic decompensation, they were sicker kids.  :29

Metabolic decompensation can involve changes in the acidity of the blood or the amount of glucose in it, and these conditions can be serious or even life-threatening, Magge says. She says the uptick in the number of children with these conditions is alarming. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.