Diabetes Incidence Increasing at an Alarming Rate

by Mark Benson on June 11, 2012

Increasing rates of diabetes

According to a recent research, diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate, with a twenty percent jump from numbers observed for Type 2 diabetes back in 2001. This increase has been linked to obesity or excessive weight and lesser active lifestyles. The research also found increasing numbers of individuals being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

The research was conducted by the School of Public Health of the University of Colorado under the leadership of Dr. Dana Dabelea, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. She said, “Both types of diabetes are increasing. For Type 2, we have some clues as to why it’s increasing, but for Type 1, we still need to better understand the triggers of this disease.”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified the cause of the rise as the increasing numbers of overweight and obese children or about seventeen percent of current US children and teenagers. This number is three times the numbers just one generation ago.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmunological disorder where the body’s immune system attacks healthy insulin producing beta cells in the body. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body metabolize carbohydrates and control blood sugar levels. One of the theories as to its onset is the exposure to viruses triggers the condition to occur as it is not linked to lifestyle issues, such as obesity and lack of exercise.

On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes is a condition wherein the body produces low amounts of insulin for its needs or fails to use insulin efficiently. The cause for its onset remains sketchy at the moment, but it has often been attributed to sedentary lifestyles and being overweight. Other factors though may be responsible, such as the ability to be controlled through lifestyle changes such as weight loss and greater exercise.

In the 2001 study, it found that 189, 000 below the age of 20 was suffering from diabetes in the United States, where 168,000 were suffering from Type 1 diabetes while only 19,000 had Type 2 diabetes. Between 2001 and 2009, the numbers of American children suffering from Type 2 diabetes had increased by 21 percent while the cases of Type 1 cases had increased by 23 percent.

Another observation made was that children suffering from Type 2 diabetes would have protein in their urine compared to those with Type 1 diabetes. This is a sign that these children would have increased risk for kidney damage. Furthermore, teens with either type of diabetes showed early signs of nerve damage, especially those that regulate the heart and its blood vessels.

One factor that stood out was the amount of television time these children spent daily. Those that spend more than three hours in front of the television every day showed poorer blood sugar management and increased levels of triglycerides present, compared to other children that watched a lesser number of hours.

The findings of the researchers were scheduled to be presented on Saturday before the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting in Philadelphia. This study was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and the US National Institutes of Health.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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