DIABETES in children has increased by almost 40 percent in the last 30 years, scientists warn.
Chinese researchers found that from 1990 to 2019 cases rose from 9.31 to 11.61 per 100,000 worldwide.
While childhood diabetes deaths fell during this period, they remained high, they warned.
dr Kevin Zhang of Weifang Medical University said, “Childhood diabetes poses an increasing global health challenge with rising incidence.
“For many years, childhood diabetes was generally type 1 diabetes.
“Recently, the worldwide epidemic of childhood obesity has led to an increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children.”
According to the latest NHS data, more than 1,500 children under the age of 19 had type 2 diabetes in 2020.
The condition causes blood sugar levels to rise too high and is more common in overweight and obese people.
It can lead to fatal complications such as heart disease and stroke, as well as nerve damage, blindness, and kidney problems.
Experts are concerned about rising childhood obesity. Last year in England, one in ten children aged four to five was obese and a further 12 per cent were overweight.
The numbers were higher among children aged 10 to 11, with nearly a quarter being obese and 14.3 percent being overweight in the same year.
The latest study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, examined how cases of childhood diabetes have changed over the past three decades.
Researchers tracked cases and deaths in more than 1.4 million children aged up to 14 in 204 countries around the world.
Overall, the number of cases rose by 39.4 percent to 227,580, they estimated.
The largest increase in cases has been in North Africa and the Middle East.
Finland recorded the highest overall incidence in 2019, while Bangladesh recorded the highest mortality rate.
Deaths associated with this condition fell worldwide from 6,719 in 2990 to 5,390 in 2019.
What are the signs your child has type 2 diabetes?
It’s important that you take your child to the family doctor if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Toilet – going to the toilet more often, especially at night.
- Thirst – being thirsty all the time and not being able to quench it.
- Tired – being incredibly tired and lacking in energy.
- Thinner – Lose weight without trying, or look thinner than usual.
- Itching or thrush in the genital area
- Cuts and wounds heal longer
- Blurred vision
Source: Diabetes UK