A new study of 2005-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data has found that the prevalence of diabetes among U.S. adolescents is higher than previously reported.
The study, published in the July 19 issue of JAMA, found the weighted prevalence of diabetes among adolescents age 12 to 19 years was 0.8%. A previous study, published in JAMA in 2014, found diagnosed diabetes in 0.34% of participants aged 10 to 19 years.
Andy Menke, PhD, of Social & Scientific Systems, Silver Spring, Md., and colleagues used 2005-2014 NHANES data (in which all relevant glucose data were available) from adolescents age 12 to 19 years who were randomly selected for a morning examination session after fasting.
Of 2,606 adolescents included, 62 had diabetes, 20 were undiagnosed, and 512 had prediabetes. The weighted prevalence of diabetes was 0.8%, of which 29% was undiagnosed, and the prevalence of prediabetes was 18%. Prediabetes was more common in males (22%) than females (13%). Compared with non-Hispanic white participants, the percentage of adolescents with diabetes who were undiagnosed (4.6%) and the prediabetes prevalence (15%) were higher in non-Hispanic black participants (50% and 21%, respectively) and Hispanic participants (40% and 23%, respectively). Diabetes and prediabetes prevalences did not change over time.
“To our knowledge, these are the first estimates of diabetes in a nationally representative sample of U.S. adolescents using all three American Diabetes Association recommended biomarkers. The estimates are higher than previously reported; one study found diagnosed diabetes in 0.34% of participants aged 10 to 19 years. A relatively large proportion was unaware of the condition, particularly among non-Hispanic black participants and Hispanic participants, indicating a need for improved diabetes screening among