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From Stockton-On-Tees, England:

Is it true that now-a-days children are more likely to get diabetes than adults? If so, why?


I am not sure from your question whether you understand that, for the most part, children and adults get two quite different forms of diabetes. In children, this is primarily type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes, and the incidence is around 18 new cases per 100,000 of the population under 20. It is very slowly increasing for reasons that are not yet clear. Some children, mostly those who are overweight and don't take much exercise, get type 2 or the adult form of diabetes, and the incidence of this too is increasing. The overall incidence of type 2 or insulin resistance diabetes is about ten times that of type 1, and it too is slowly becoming more common.

It would be misleading though to imply that children are more likely to get diabetes than adults, rather it would be true to say that they get different forms of diabetes, both of which are slowly increasing in frequency.


Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:

Nope. Adults still get much more diabetes than kids since type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1. However, there is a general increase in type 1 diabetes as well as type 2 diabetes. The type 1 increase is associated with other autoimmune disease which are all increasing around the world. The type 2 increase is mostly reflecting increase in inactivity and obesity -- also increasing around the world.


Original posting 6 Nov 2002
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:38
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