The following is a summary of “Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic is Associated with a Substantial Rise in Frequency and Severity of Presentation of Youth-Onset Type 2 Diabetes” published in the December 2022 issue of Pediatrics by Magge et al.

For a study, researchers sought to analyze the incidence and severity of new cases of type 2 diabetes with a young beginning in the US during the first year of the pandemic compared to the average of the previous two years.

It was a retrospective chart review that involved many centers (n = 24 centers). Those aged ≤21 who were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between March 2018 and February 2021, had a body mass index ≥ 85% percentile, and had no detectable pancreatic autoantibodies were included. Between-group comparisons were made with regard to demographic and clinical information, including the number of cases and the frequency of metabolic decompensation.

A total of 3,113 young people (mean [SD] 14.4 [2.4] years; 50.5% female; 40.4% Hispanic; 32.7% Black; 14.5% non-Hispanic White) were evaluated. When compared to the mean of the two years prior, 2019 (n = 886) and 2018 (n = 765), the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes increased by 77.2% in the pandemic year (n = 1,463). During the pandemic, there was a noticeably elevated risk of metabolic decompensation and severe diabetic ketoacidosis.

During the coronavirus illness 2019 pandemic, the burden of newly diagnosed youth-onset type 2 diabetes grew considerably, placing tremendous pressure on pediatric diabetes healthcare professionals, patients, and families. Uncertainty exists on whether the rise in cases was brought on by the coronavirus illness of 2019 infection or was merely a result from stresses and environmental changes during the pandemic. To assess if the growth was specific to the US and whether it would continue over time, more research was required.