(HealthDay News) – From 2001–2009, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes increased 21% among youth in the United States.

Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD, from the University of Colorado Denver in Aurora, and colleagues investigated temporal trends in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in youth, from 2001–2009. Data were collected from four geographic-based sites (Colorado, South Carolina, Ohio, and Washington). Cases had a physician diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and were <20 years on Dec. 31, 2001 or 2009. Due to the rarity of type 2 diabetes among those <10 years, the prevalence was presented for those aged >10 years.

The researchers identified 382 and 464 youth with type 2 diabetes in 2001 and 2009, respectively. Using capture-recapture, the completeness of ascertainment was estimated at 91% in 2001 and 88% in 2009. The overall prevalence increased 21%, from 0.29 to 0.36 per 1,000. The increase was found to be significant in females, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites and was not significant for African-Americans, American Indians, and Asian/Pacific Islanders.

“Type 2, once known as ‘adult onset’ diabetes, is increasingly being diagnosed in young people,” a coauthor said in a statement. “We’ve known this was happening for a while, but now we have data that tell us just how big a problem it has become.”

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