Objective: To estimate the prevalence of diabetes in U.S. youth aged <20 years in 2009 and to estimate the total number of youth with diabetes in the U.S. by age, race/ethnicity, and diabetes type.
Research design and methods: To address one of its primary aims, the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study identified youth aged <20 years on 31 December 2009 with physician-diagnosed diabetes in selected areas of Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington, among health plan members of Kaiser Permanente Southern California and among American Indians living on reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. Diabetes was classified as type 1, type 2, or other. Race/ethnicity was by self-report.
Results: From a population of 3,458,974 youth aged <20 years, 7,695 youth with diabetes were identified (2.22/1,000): 6,668 with type 1 diabetes (1.93/1,000), 837 with type 2 diabetes (0.24/1,000), and 190 (0.05/1,000) with other diabetes types. Prevalence increased with age, was slightly higher in females than males, and was most prevalent in non-Hispanic White and least prevalent in Asian/Pacific Islanders, with Native American and black youth having the highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes. An estimated 191,986 U.S. youth aged <20 years have diabetes; 166,984 type 1 diabetes, 20,262 type 2 diabetes, and 4,740 other types.
Conclusions: Diabetes, one of the leading chronic diseases in childhood, affects >190,000 (1 of 433) youth aged <20 years in the U.S., with racial and ethnic disparities seen in diabetes prevalence, overall and by diabetes type.