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High Rates of Diabetes in Asian Children

Posted: Thursday, June 03, 2004

South Asian children in Britain have more than 13 times the rate of type 2 diabetes as other youngsters.

The illness used to be considered an adult disease but rising levels of childhood obesity mean more children are developing the disease. said Dr Timothy Barrett of Birmingham Children's Hospital in England.

Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the illness, results from the body's inability to respond to the action of insulin produced by the pancreas. It is strongly linked to being overweight or obese.

In a report in Archives of Disease in Childhood, Barrett and his colleagues collected data on the illness in children up to 16 years old from 228 diabetes centers in Britain.

Children with the disease were about 13 years old when they were diagnosed and were usually overweight or obese girls who had a relative with the disease. If the illness is not treated, it can lead to serious complications later in life including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and blindness.

Blurred vision, unusual thirst, frequent urination and tiredness are symptoms. Type 2 diabetes occurs in about 0.14 to four percent of obese children. An estimated 1.8 million British schoolchildren are overweight and a further 700,000 obese.

"UK children still have a low prevalence of Type 2 diabetes. said Barrett. "We need to tackle the causes of diabetes in the whole population and the link to the obesity epidemic."


Source:  Diabetes In Control

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