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    Rising diabetes rates in children: Four things health execs should know


    3. Rates of newly diagnosed diabetes varied greatly among different racial and ethnic groups

    The rate of newly diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes rose most sharply in Native Americans (8.9%), Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (8.5%), and non-Hispanic blacks (6.3%). However, it should be noted that Native American youth who participated in the SEARCH study don’t represent all Native American youth in the United States so rates cannot be generalized to all Native American youth nationwide.

    Mayer-Davis believes the increase in rates of diabetes development greatly varies among specific racial and ethnic groups because combinations of genes and environmental factors differ among ethnic groups. “These factors can help us understand the causes of diseases, how to prevent diabetes in these groups, and recognize circumstances that are needed in order to take the best care of youth with diabetes regardless of their ethnic group."

    4. Rates of diabetes in different ethnic groups could indicate different patterns of genetic susceptibility

    The rate of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes increased most sharply in Hispanic youth, a 4.2% annual increase. In non-Hispanic blacks, the rate of new diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes increased by 2.2%, and in non-Hispanic whites by 1.2% per year.

    Mayer-Davis says it’s important to study rates in different ethnic groups because there may be different patterns of genetic susceptibility that relate to diabetes types 1 and 2. It’s also important for healthcare systems to understand and recognize what groups in the population are likely to experience more incidences of diabetes, so they can better understand the expectations of care that they need to provide and can better project the cost of care.

    “Historically, we know that groups other than non-Hispanic whites haven’t had as much access to some of the more current treatment modalities such as insulin pumps,” Mayer-Davis says.

    Karen Appold is a medical writer in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.


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