Type 2 diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents is still a rare disease in Germany: a population-based assessment of the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and MODY in patients aged 0-20 years

Pediatr Diabetes. 2009 Nov;10(7):468-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5448.2009.00528.x. Epub 2009 Jun 3.


Objective: To assess the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) in children and adolescents aged 0-20 yr in Baden-Württemberg (BW), Germany, and to compare our results with those from other European countries.

Methods: Our study involved every children's hospital (n = 31), each diabetologist in private practice (n = 122), and every internal medicine unit (n = 164) in BW. A written questionnaire and a telephone survey were used to identify children with T2DM and MODY who had been examined at any of these institutions between 2004 and 2005. Population data were drawn from the national census of 1987 and the subsequent annual updates.

Results: The prevalence of T2DM for the age range from 0 to 20 yr is 2.30/100 000, whereas the prevalence of MODY in the same age range is 2.39/100 000. The median age of patients with T2DM was 15.8 yr, and 13.9 yr for MODY patients. The majority of patients with either T2DM or MODY were treated in children's hospitals and by consultant diabetologists. A molecular genetic analysis was done to substantiate the clinical diagnosis in less than half of the recruits (14.3% of T2DM and 44.8% of MODY patients).

Conclusions: The prevalence of T2DM and MODY is considerably lower than the prevalence of type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes thus continues to be a rare disease in children and adolescents in Germany, as is also the case in other European countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Health Surveys
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Medicine
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Telephone
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult