Writing on behalf of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the authors developed guidelines on the pathogenesis, risk assessment, diagnostic criteria, and management of type 2 diabetes in young individuals, as well as associated comorbidities and complications and the transition to adult care.
They stress the need for risk-based screening in overweight and obese children and the development of culturally and contextually sensitive education and lifestyle management programs, particularly given the demographic profile of young patients with type 2 diabetes.
The statement, published online November 13 in Diabetes Care, was issued as the incidence of type 2 diabetes in the United States is estimated to have increased by 4.8% in people aged under 20 years in the decade between 2002 and 2012.
Type 2 diabetes also “appears to be more aggressive in youth than in adults, with a faster rate of deterioration of beta-cell function and poorer response to glucose-lowering medication,” lead author Silva Arslanian, MD, from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said in an ADA news release.
“Furthermore, there is a higher risk for complications in people with earlier-onset type 2 diabetes, which is possibly related to prolonged lifetime exposure to hyperglycemia and other atherogenic risk factors, including insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and chronic inflammation.”
Arslanian therefore urges clinicians to “continue to make strides in recognizing the specific needs of youth and adolescents who are at risk or diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.”
Youth-Onset Type 2 Diabetes Is Different
William T. Cefalu, MD, chief scientific, medical, and mission officer at the ADA, who was not involved in developing the statement, echoed those comments.