Obesity Severity Linked to Increased Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in Children

pediatric diabetes_Getty_97016263
pediatric diabetes_Getty_97016263
American Indian youth with increasingly severe obesity had a significantly higher risk of type 2 diabetes incidence.

This article is part of Endocrinology Advisor’s coverage of the American Diabetes Association’s 77th Scientific Sessions (ADA 2017), taking place in San Diego, CA. Our staff will report on medical research and technological advances in diabetes and diabetes education, conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from ADA 2017.

Children with increasingly severe obesity have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes incidence, according to research presented at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 77th Scientific Sessions, held June 9-13 in San Diego, California.

Researchers from Phoenix, Arizona, conducted a longitudinal study to assess the risk of type 2 diabetes in a population of obese and severely obese American Indian children and adolescents living in the southwestern United States.

Nearly 5000 (n=4883; median age: 12.1 years at baseline [interquartile range (IQR): 11.7-13.7]; 53.4% girls) children between 10 and 17 years, without type 2 diabetes, were enrolled in the study between 1965 and 2007. Follow-up occurred for 20 years or until type 2 diabetes onset (median follow-up: 11.7 years; IQR: 5.3-20.0 years).

As obesity severity increased, type 2 diabetes incidences also went up; 648 participants developed type 2 diabetes during the study period (11.1 per 1000 person-years). Girls with obesity had a 3- to 7-fold higher rate of type 2 diabetes, whereas boys with obesity had a 6- to 20-fold higher incidence rate.

“This longitudinal study … shows that risk continues to increase with increasing obesity severity above the 95th percentile,” the researchers concluded. “Our study adds to the understanding of the metabolic risk gradient in obesity and will help in planning early therapeutic interventions to mitigate this risk.”

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Reddy SP, Tanamas SK, Chambers M, et al. Long-term risk of type 2 diabetes in youth with increasing severity of obesity.  Presented at: American Diabetes Association (ADA) 77th Scientific Sessions; June 9-13, 2017; San Diego, CA. Abstract 12-OR.