Recent studies have revealed that around one in five American teens suffer from an unusual glucose level, meaning that they are more likely to develop diabetes.
According to Dr. Andy Menke, Social & Scientific Systems epidemiologist, the latest study conducted by him and his colleague use all three guidelines recommended by the American Diabetes Association.
One of the targets of their study was to establish how many United States adolescents are vulnerable to diabetes. Some 2606 teens participated in a survey known as NHANES during which participants had to say whether they had been previously diagnosed with diabetes.
Also, they had to go through a series of examinations including HbA1c testing, fasting blood glucose, and a 75-gram oral glucose tolerance test. Out of all participants, 512 had prediabetes, 20 of them were oblivious to the fact that they had diabetes, and 65 suffered from this health disorder.
Dr. Menke confessed that the team did not anticipate the prevalence of diabetes to be 17.7 percent. This high percentage is very concerning. Prediabetes was more common in men (22 percent) compared with women (13.2 percent).
Hispanic adolescents had 39.5 percent of undiagnosed diabetes cases and 22.9 percent prediabetes, whereas black participants had higher rates of undiagnosed diabetes of 49.9 percent but a lower rate of prediabetes of 21 percent.
White adolescents had the lowest rate of undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes with 4.6 percent and 15.1 percent.
Based on previous research, 87 percent of teens suffering from this health disorder had type 1 diabetes, so it seemed that type 1 was more common than type 2 among teenagers. The participants from Menke’s study who said that they used insulin were probably having type 1 diabetes, whereas the adolescents who didn’t use insulin probably had type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, but in people who have type 2 diabetes the pancreas produces enough insulin, but the body resists to it. Menke admits that he and his team need to investigate this problem further to understand more about the connection between teenagers and diabetes.
Teens have to be provided with diabetes screening and educated about the consequences of living with this health disorder and how to deal with it. The study did not aim to establish the risks of diabetes, but it was focused on adolescents and the prevalence of this disorder among them.
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