TUESDAY, Jan. 3, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The number of youths with diabetes is projected to increase substantially through 2060, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in Diabetes Care.

Thaddäus Tönnies, Ph.D., from the Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany, and colleagues projected the future prevalence of types 1 and 2 diabetes among youth aged younger than 20 years while considering various scenarios of future incidence trends.

The researchers project that if the incidence remains constant as observed in 2017, there will be an increase in the number of youths with diabetes from 213,000 in 2017 (185,000 with type 1 diabetes and 28,000 with type 2 diabetes) to 239,000 in 2060 (191,000 type 1 diabetes and 48,000 type 2 diabetes). The corresponding relative increases were 3 and 69 percent for types 1 and 2 diabetes, respectively. If the increasing trends in incidence seen from 2002 to 2017 continue, there will be a projected number of 526,000 youths with diabetes (306,000 with type 1 diabetes and 220,000 with type 2 diabetes), corresponding to relative increases of 65 and 673 percent, respectively. Considerable widening of racial and ethnic disparities in type 2 diabetes are expected in both scenarios, with prevalence highest among non-Hispanic Black youth.

“If the current trends continue, U.S. health care systems could face an increasing demand of youth-onset diabetes health care services, resulting in increasing health care costs,” the authors write.

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