The annual prevalence of pediatric diabetes and pediatric diabetic nephropathy “markedly increased starting at age 12 years,” a new analysis of insurance data shows.

The results were published online ahead of print on December 17, 2015, and appear in the February 2016 issue of Diabetes Care.  

A team lead by Lin Li, MD, PhD, Research Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Boston Collective Drug Surveillance Program, Boston University School of Public Health in Lexington MA, in conjunction with researchers at Bayer Pharma AG in Germany, estimated the prevalence of diabetes and diabetic nephropathy in U.S. commercially insured patients under age 18.

They used the US MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database to identify 96,171 pediatric patients with diabetes and 3161 children with diabetic nephropathy between 2002 and 2014. From this sample, they estimated the prevalence of pediatric diabetes and diabetic nephropathy in the US population.  

The annual prevalence of pediatric diabetes had increased from 1.86 to 2.82 per 1000 during the period measured. The prevalence of type 1 diabetes went up from 1.48 to 2.32 per 1,000, while type 2 increased from 0.38 to 0.67 per thousand.  

Diabetic nephropathy tripled from 1.16 to 3.44 percent for all cases. Prevalence was highest among patients between 12 and 18 years. Type 1 diabetes prevalence was higher in boys, while type 2 diabetes and diabetic nephropathy was higher in girls.