Presentation and course of Type 2 diabetes in youth in a large multi-ethnic city

Diabet Med. 2004 Oct;21(10):1144-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2004.01297.x.


Aim: To review the clinical experience of children and teens diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) at a paediatric hospital serving a large urban multi-ethnic population.

Methods: Retrospective chart review of patients with T2DM followed in the diabetes clinic at the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) over an 8-year period. Patients who were included were younger than 18, referred at the onset of diabetes, and where presentation and/or clinical course was 'typical' of T2DM.

Results: Of 1020 children with diabetes followed at HSC, 4% were identified as having T2DM in 2002. There was a sixfold increase in new cases from 1994 to 2002. The mean age at diagnosis was 13.5 +/- 2.2 years (range 8.8-17.5) with a female-to-male ratio of 1.7. Most had a first- or second-degree relative with T2DM. There was an overrepresentation of children with T2DM from Asian and African Canadian ethnic groups relative to the regional population. The majority of teens were asymptomatic at presentation, with a smaller number in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) at diagnosis. Mean HbA1c at diagnosis was 10 +/- 3.4%. Approximately one half of patients were initially treated by diet and exercise with many requiring intensification of therapy over a short period of time.

Conclusions: We report a similar increase in T2DM incidence and clinical presentation at HSC to other clinic reports in large North American urban centres. Of note is the high prevalence of children of South/South-East Asian descent.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • London / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urban Health