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Cases of Youth-Onset Type 2 Diabetes Climbed During Pandemic

Substantial increase in new cases seen during first year of pandemic

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 31, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a 77.2 percent increase in new cases of type 2 diabetes among youth aged 21 years and younger, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Sheela N. Magge, M.D., from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the frequency and severity of new cases of youth-onset type 2 diabetes in the United States in the first year of the pandemic. In the multicenter, hospital-based, retrospective chart review, 3,113 youth aged 21 years and younger with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes between March 2018 and February 2021 were included; participants had a body mass index ≥85th percentile.

The researchers found that in the year during the pandemic, new cases of type 2 diabetes increased by 77.2 percent compared with the mean of the previous two years (1,463 cases versus 886 in 2019 and 765 in 2018). During the pandemic, there was a significant increase in the likelihood of presenting with metabolic decompensation and severe diabetic ketoacidosis.

"The results of this study of more than 3,100 patients with newly diagnosed diabetes demonstrate a dramatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the presentation of type 2 diabetes in youth, which was already rising in incidence and prevalence prior to the pandemic," the authors write. "This has created a significant strain on pediatric endocrinology, general practitioner, and obesity providers, who have been managing this growing population with limited resources."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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