Diabetes Incidence on the Rise Among Youth


A recently published report highlights increasing incidence of newly-diagnosed cases of diabetes among children and adolescents.

A recently published report highlights increasing incidence of newly diagnosed cases of diabetes among children and adolescents. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first to estimate trends of newly-diagnosed cases in individuals under 20 years of age across major racial/ethnic groups in the United States.1

The study examined newly diagnosed patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes from 2002 to 2012 in non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans. It evaluated 11,244 individuals aged 0-19 with type 1 diabetes and 2,846 individuals aged 10-19 with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that type 1 diabetes incidence in youth rose by 1.8% each year, while type 2 diabetes rates climbed 4.8%. Rates of newly-diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes increased more in males (2.2%) than in females (1.4%) across all racial and ethnic groups observed.

Other findings indicated:

  • Rates of newly diagnosed patients with type 1 diabetes increased by 4.2% among Hispanic youth, 2.2% in non-Hispanic blacks, and 1.2% in non-Hispanic whites.
  • Rates of newly-diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes increased the most in Native Americans (8.9%), followed by Asian Americans/Pacific Islands (8.5%), and non-Hispanic blacks (6.3%). The researchers noted that rates for Native Americans cannot be generalized for all Native American youths.
  • Increased rates of type 2 diabetes incidence were lowest in Hispanics (3.1%) and whites (0.6%).
  • Newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes cases increased more sharply in females (6.2%) than in males (3.7%).

“The differences among racial and ethnic groups and between genders raise many questions,” Barbara Linder, MD, PhD, senior advisor for childhood diabetes research at NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, said in a press release. “We need to understand why the increase in rates of diabetes development varies so greatly and is so concentrated in specific racial and ethnic groups.


  • Mayer-Davis EJ, Lawrence JM, Dabelea D, et al. Incidence trends of type 1 and type 2 diabetes among youths, 2002-2012. N Engl J Med. 2017; 376:1419-1429. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1610187

2. Rates of new diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes on the rise among children, teens [news release]. NIH’s website.

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/rates-new-diagnosed-cases-type-1-type-2-diabetes-rise-among-children-teens. Accessed April 13, 2017.

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