Type 1 diabetes is growing at an annual rate of 3 percent, with a 23 percent increase over the last 8 years in children and young adults. Type 2 diabetes increased 21 percent in America's youth between 2001-2009, according to the information from the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study.
"Rates of diabetes among Hispanic kids have outpaced other groups both in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes- something we've never seen before and indicative of something we should take seriously," study author Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD, a professor at the University of Colorado in Denver said.
This isn't just limited to Hispanic youth either- one in ten Hispanics over the age of 20 have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Type 1, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, accounts for only 5 to 10% of all diagnosed diabetes cases. It is the result of when the body's immune system attacks and destroys its own insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes on the other hand, accounts for 95 to 90% of all diabetes illnesses and was more common in people over the age of 40. Now Type 2 affects an individual if they are overweight or are not getting enough exercise no matter the age.
Elizabeth Mayers-Davis, a doctor and professor at the University of North Carolina told NBC Latino that, "these things (diet and exercise) reduce Type 2 diabetes and can be helpful in terms of managing diabetes. It's also important that your child has already been diagnosed with diabetes, you should work closely with a health care provider to optimize the health of their child."
38.2 percent of Hispanic children between 2 and 19 are overweight or obese, compared to 31.7 percent of all children. What is more alarming is that the National Council of La Raza predicts that one out of every two Latino children born in 2000 will be diagnosed with diabetes.
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