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CDC warns of future surge in diabetes among young Americans – The Hill

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Story at a glance


  • About 526,000 young Americans could have both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes by 2060, up from 213,000 in 2017

  • The expected surge is alarming health officials, who say the increase will disproportionately affect minority populations.

  • A potential factor behind the trend could be an increase in childhood obesity.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday warned a surge of diabetes among young Americans is on the horizon, saying diagnoses for the population are expected to soar in the coming decades.

The CDC cited a new study published in the journal Diabetes Care, which models a nearly 700 percent increase of Type 2 diabetes diagnoses in Americans under the age of 20 through 2060, if an expected upward trend continues.

Type 1 diabetes could also increase 65 percent among young Americans in the next 40 years following the same trend.

Debra Houry, the CDC’s acting principal deputy director, said the “new research should serve as a wake-up call for all of us.”

“It’s vital that we focus our efforts to ensure all Americans, especially our young people, are the healthiest they can be,” Houry said in a statement, adding it was important “to prevent and manage chronic diseases, not only for our current population but also for generations to come.”

Millions of Americans of all ages have diabetes, which is a seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and extremely costly for those living with it. Diabetes is not curable.

In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin, while in Type 2, the most common form of diabetes, the body doesn’t use insulin properly. Insulin is needed to break down blood sugars in the body for energy.

Based on the expected surge in the new study, about 526,000 young Americans could have both types of diabetes by 2060, compared to a total of 213,000 for the population in 2017.

The study revealed that even if trends remain constant, Type 2 diabetes diagnoses could increase nearly 70 percent among young Americans and Type 1 diabetes diagnoses could increase 3 percent in the population by 2060.

A potential factor behind the trend could be an increase in childhood obesity, according to the CDC, which estimated the increase of diabetes in younger Americans will disproportionally affect minority populations.

Christopher Holliday, the director for the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, said the predicted numbers were “alarming” for the U.S., which has already seen a rise in diabetes diagnoses in the total population.

“This study’s startling projections of type 2 diabetes increases show why it is crucial to advance health equity and reduce the widespread disparities that already take a toll on people’s health,” Holliday said in a statement.



Story at a glance


  • About 526,000 young Americans could have both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes by 2060, up from 213,000 in 2017

  • The expected surge is alarming health officials, who say the increase will disproportionately affect minority populations.

  • A potential factor behind the trend could be an increase in childhood obesity.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday warned a surge of diabetes among young Americans is on the horizon, saying diagnoses for the population are expected to soar in the coming decades.

The CDC cited a new study published in the journal Diabetes Care, which models a nearly 700 percent increase of Type 2 diabetes diagnoses in Americans under the age of 20 through 2060, if an expected upward trend continues.

Type 1 diabetes could also increase 65 percent among young Americans in the next 40 years following the same trend.

Debra Houry, the CDC’s acting principal deputy director, said the “new research should serve as a wake-up call for all of us.”

“It’s vital that we focus our efforts to ensure all Americans, especially our young people, are the healthiest they can be,” Houry said in a statement, adding it was important “to prevent and manage chronic diseases, not only for our current population but also for generations to come.”

Millions of Americans of all ages have diabetes, which is a seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and extremely costly for those living with it. Diabetes is not curable.

In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin, while in Type 2, the most common form of diabetes, the body doesn’t use insulin properly. Insulin is needed to break down blood sugars in the body for energy.

Based on the expected surge in the new study, about 526,000 young Americans could have both types of diabetes by 2060, compared to a total of 213,000 for the population in 2017.

The study revealed that even if trends remain constant, Type 2 diabetes diagnoses could increase nearly 70 percent among young Americans and Type 1 diabetes diagnoses could increase 3 percent in the population by 2060.

A potential factor behind the trend could be an increase in childhood obesity, according to the CDC, which estimated the increase of diabetes in younger Americans will disproportionally affect minority populations.

Christopher Holliday, the director for the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, said the predicted numbers were “alarming” for the U.S., which has already seen a rise in diabetes diagnoses in the total population.

“This study’s startling projections of type 2 diabetes increases show why it is crucial to advance health equity and reduce the widespread disparities that already take a toll on people’s health,” Holliday said in a statement.

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