Type 2 diabetes: an epidemic disease in childhood

Curr Opin Pediatr. 2003 Aug;15(4):411-5. doi: 10.1097/00008480-200308000-00010.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus in the pediatric population is now a public health problem. It represents 8 to 45% of all diabetes reported among children and adolescents. Concurrently, childhood obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. Epidemiologic risk factors and diagnostic criteria have largely been established: The incidence of type 2 diabetes increases with age and obesity. Children and adolescents diagnosed with type 2 diabetes usually have a first- or second-degree relative with the disorder. Familial clustering and twin studies have suggested a genetic component for type 2 diabetes. However, the molecular mechanisms that promote diabetes in susceptible individuals, the best treatment plans, and methods of prevention of this disorder are not yet established.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / therapy
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology