Aims: The study aimed to describe the epidemiology of diabetes in minority children residing in Chicago, IL, USA, and to compare the demographic and clinical characteristics of those with type 1 to those with youth-onset type 2 diabetes.
Methods: Medical records were obtained on 735 insulin-treated African-American and Latino children aged 0-17 years at onset, and diagnosed between 1985 and 1994; 195 of the children were interviewed. Subjects were presumed to have type 2 diabetes if they fitted specific criteria. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted and Poisson regression was used to analyze time trends.
Results: Ten-year average annual incidence of childhood diabetes for African-Americans [15.2/10(5), 95% confidence interval (CI): 13.5, 17.0] was significantly higher than for Latinos (10.7/10(5), 95% CI: 9.1, 12.6). The average annual incidence was 10.3/10(5) population for type 1 and 3.2/10(5) for those with presumed type 2 diabetes. Most patients (99.6% of type 1, 94.1% of type 2) exhibited more than one of the classic onset symptoms of type 1 diabetes. Mean age at diagnosis was older, 13.1 versus 10.5 years, and there were more females, 62.4%, versus 49.8%, among the type 2 patients; ethnicity was not an important distinguishing factor.
Conclusion: The risk of childhood diabetes increased among African-Americans and Latinos between 1985 and 1994, driven by an increase in children with type 2 diabetes. This is likely related both to an increase in risk factors, i.e. obesity, and to changes in diagnostic practice.
Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.