Science

Type 2 diabetes in children more damaging than in adults

By Hilda Scott , May 25, 2013 10:15 AM EDT
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Results from a recent study shows that kids who have type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of getting other ailments as opposed to diabetic adults. Children with type 2 diabetes are at greater risk for developing heart, kidney and eye problems.

The study was led by a team of pediatricians out of the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. For the study, 699 children and adolescents were commissioned to participate. They were divided up into three groups where each group received a different type of diabetes medication.

When the study researchers compared the rate of deterioration of beta cells in the children to that of adults, they found a significant difference. The deterioration rate in children was recorded at 20 to 35 percent compared to 7 to 11 percent in adults. Beta cells help the body to produce insulin. 

"Once these kids have Type 2 diabetes, they seem to be at very high risk for early complications when compared to adults," professor of pediatric endocrinology in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Jane Lynch said in a press release.

The rise in obesity rates in the United States has seen a rise in rates among children with type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, an estimated 151,000 youth under the age of 20 suffer from diabetes.

"In puberty, everyone becomes somewhat insulin-resistant ... and when you're insulin-resistant you're hungry, plus when you have diabetes you're thirsty. This becomes a huge issue when there's the tendency to make poor choices," Lynch said.

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