Doctors see increase in Type I, Type II diabetes in children

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Type II diabetes has always been associated with being overweight or obese. With an epidemic of childhood obesity, doctors expected more kids to develop diabetes, but many more have developed diabetes than expected, and they’re also being diagnosed with Type I diabetes.

A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at the number of youngsters up to 19-years-old who were diagnosed with diabetes between 2001 and 2009. During that interval the number of Type I diabetics increased about 20 percent, and the number of Type II cases increased more than 30 percent. The Type I results were somewhat surprising.

Dr. Teresa Quattrin is chair of pediatrics at UB Medical School and pediatrician-in-chief at Women and Children’s Hospital. She is an expert in diabetes, and points out that youngsters with diabetes have a “head start” on the consequences of diabetes.

“We as specialists in diabetes had realized that it was really creeping up, but I don’t think that the public was made aware,” she said. “These cardiovascular risks are there and they definitely are compounding and becoming more important over time, even in pediatrics.”

Type I diabetes has not traditionally been associated with obesity, but it seems to play a role. In local cases, parental weight is also important.

Dr. Quattrin explained, “In 86 percent of cases, there was one parent at least who was overweight or obese.”

That’s why local treatment plans include the whole family.

“Whether a child is Type I or Type II diabetes, it has to become a family effort to adjust and to make changes for the entire family,” said Dr. Quattrin.

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