Trends in diabetes prevalence among American Indian and Alaska native children, adolescents, and young adults

Am J Public Health. 2002 Sep;92(9):1485-90. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.9.1485.


Objectives: This study determined trends in diabetes prevalence among young American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Methods: American Indian and Alaska Native children (< 15 years), adolescents (15-19 years), and young adults (20-34 years) with diabetes were identified from the Indian Health Service (IHS) outpatient database. The population living within IHS contract health service delivery areas was determined from census data.

Results: From 1990 to 1998, the total number of young American Indians and Alaska Natives with diagnosed diabetes increased by 71% (4534 to 7736); prevalence increased by 46% (6.4 per 1000 to 9.3 per 1000 population). Increases in prevalence were greater among adolescents and among young men.

Conclusions: Diabetes should be considered a major public health problem among young American Indians and Alaska Natives.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alaska / epidemiology
  • Censuses
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Inuits / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Public Health
  • United States / epidemiology
  • United States Indian Health Service