Yesterday, JAMA released findings from an 8-year study (2001-2009) that sought to estimate real prevalence of type 1 diabetes (auto-immune diabetes) and type 2 diabetes (metabolic disorder) in US youth by age, gender and race/ethnicity. While the rise in diabetes in children has been cited as “epidemic” this study provides more recent data to substantiate the claim. Finally, the US diabetes community has data to backup that type 1 and type 2 diabetes is a significant problem today and will continue to be in the future.

Results show that “the adjusted prevalence of type 1 diabetes increased 21.1%” from 2001 to 2009. Greatest increases were seen in the 15-19 age group. The researchers point out that while type 1 diabetes has been identified as an autoimmune condition most significantly affecting “white youth” (in the category of children), increased prevalence can now be seen in “minority racial/ethnic groups as well.” Increased prevalence among US minorities is of concern because it is expected that minority youth are more likely to have poor glycemic control resulting in more serious complications of type 1 diabetes. The chart below reflects the results for type 1 diabetes prevalence in the US. Click to zoom in and expand.

The study also asserts that because of low mortality (I would argue under-reporting of deaths from Type 1) the increase is primarily seen as prevalence (proportion of cases in a population at a given time), incidence (rate of occurrence), because children are living longer or a combination of all three.

Equally concerning, researchers showed that the overall prevalence of type 2 diabetes (between 2001 and 2009) increased by 30.5%. Increases occurred in white, Hispanic, and black youth with no changes were found in Asian Pacific Islander and American Indian youth. Projections suggest that the number of youth with type 2 diabetes will increase from 22,820 in 2010 to 84,131 in 2050, a 4-fold increase.

To read the study:

Prevalence of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Among Children and Adolescents From 2001 to 2009
Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD; Elizabeth J. Mayer-Davis, PhD; Sharon Saydah, PhD; Giuseppina Imperatore, MD; Barbara Linder, MD, PhD; Jasmin Divers, PhD; Ronny Bell, PhD; Angela Badaru, MD; Jennifer W. Talton, MS; Tessa Crume, PhD; Angela D. Liese, PhD; Anwar T. Merchant, DMD, ScD; Jean M. Lawrence, ScD, MPH, MSSA; Kristi Reynolds, PhD; Lawrence Dolan, MD; Lenna L. Liu, MD, MPH; Richard F. Hamman, MD, DrPH ; for the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study
JAMA. 2014;311(17):1778-1786. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3201.

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Easter traditions: ‘treating’ type 1 diabetes

19 April 2014

Easter is tomorrow and we all know the traditional symbols associated with the celebration: rebirth, renewal, sunrise services, Easter bonnets, bunnies and dresses, pale blue, pink, yellow and green jelly-beans and finally, chocolate.

Sometimes I just want to scream it our loud! C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E!
With this holiday in mind and all sugary temptations plus depending [...]

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Fearing the worst when it’s hard to buy insulin

17 April 2014

In honour of all the people with type 1 diabetes who live on the edge because of the high cost of care, I want to share a few stories including my own:

In my second year of college at the University of Virginia, my mother called to tell me my father could no longer help me [...]

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Sign Petition for USA GOV to Examine Diabetes Care Costs

15 April 2014

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
-The First Amendment, United States Constitution

With so many voices living with [...]

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Is US advocacy for diabetes dead?

13 April 2014

Oh boy. Elisabeth Rosenthal’s piece in the NY Times, Even Small Medical Advances Can Mean Big Jumps in Bills got a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons, which is what really makes me disappointed. I know the headline is not exactly on point. But when I consider the expense of something [...]

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WORDS to FORTIFY your FRIDAY

4 April 2014

“Injecting Insulin without daily exercise
is like…
eating food without chewing.”
(Both T1D and T2D, think it over)
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Dying of type 1 diabetes

31 March 2014

Last week in the Financial Times, BBC reporter Michael Buerk discussed Zimbabwe in “Heart and Darkness.” In this personal account, he describes Zimbabwe’s economy and people “ransacked and ruined” by Mugabe and the poverty and terror that have dominated his reign.
“A nation that once had the highest standard of living in Africa now has among [...]

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Consciously uncoupling from diabetes

27 March 2014

Admit it, wouldn’t it be great if we had the same options as say, two very famous celebs who recently announced their intentions to part, and consciously uncoupled?

Who among us wouldn’t want to split from diabetes? Many of us dream of this day! It is called a cure, but that’s not [...]

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Living with diabetes in war and disaster: Philippines – Syria – Mali

28 February 2014

The March 2014 edition of the International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Voice was launched online yesterday HERE.

It’s a hearty edition with a variety of important issues, and one in particular that will touch the heart of anyone living with or without diabetes: Testing the Limits – the Double Burden of Diabetes and Disaster. [...]

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Smart perspective: Who is Miss Manners?

26 February 2014

Is Miss Manners still around? I am gobsmacked that she has a column or even more, that anyone is reading her material. Even people with diabetes are listening – a group of individuals focused on so much that has to do with glucose that we hardly have time to read the instruction [...]

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