The United States could witness a massive increase in type 2 diabetes among young people in the coming years, based on the latest research.
A new study published in the American Diabetes Association journal Diabetes Care showed a grim future for the country’s youth. According to the researchers, the number of teens with type 2 diabetes could rise by nearly 700% by 2060.
The team made a mathematical model based on data from the calendar years 2002-2017 to project the future prevalence of the different types of diabetes among youth aged below 20.
After analyzing their data, the researchers said that as many as 526,000 young people could have diabetes by 2060. Over the next four decades, they anticipate the number of youth with type 2 diabetes to jump by 673% and cases of type 1 diabetes among the youth to increase by 65%.
Even if the rate of new diabetes cases among the youth remained unchanged in the coming years, type 2 diabetes affecting young people could still increase by 70% and type 1 diabetes by 3% by 2060, according to MedicalXpress.
While analyzing the model, the team, which included scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), noticed that Black, Asian, Hispanic, Pacific Islander and Native American/Alaska Native children have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than White people.
The marked increase in cases is expected to be caused by two major factors: the rising rates of childhood obesity and the presence of diabetes in young pregnant women.
“This study’s startling projections of type 2 diabetes increases show why it is crucial to advance health equity and reduce the widespread disparities that already take a toll on people’s health,” Christopher Holliday, Ph.D., MPH, FACHE, the director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, said in a press release obtained by Medscape.
“This new research should serve as a wake-up call for all of us. It’s vital that we focus our efforts to ensure all Americans, especially our young people, are the healthiest they can be,” Debra Houry, MD, MPH, the acting principal director of the CDC, added.