Type 2 Diabetes in Youth

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Type 2 Diabetes in children and adolescents is an emerging epidemic within the last 20 years. Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in children and adolescents; about 151,000 people below the age of 20 years have diabetes (CDC, 2009). There has been an increase in the amount of younger people, including teenagers that have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC website, type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents, although still rare, is being diagnosed more frequently, particularly in American Indians, African Americans, and Latino Americans. Type 2 diabetes is rising in American kids, especially African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. Children are at risk if they are overweight or have a family history of diabetes. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 1999-2000 estimated the percentage of children and adolescents in the United States who are overweight or obese is over 15%, which in return in contributing to the epidemic. Being overweight in early adolescence may put children at risk for developing heart and blood vessel disease and type 2 diabetes even before they become teenagers (Messiah, 2008). Based on 2002–2003 data, about 3,700 youth were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes annually (CDC, 2007).

When diabetes occurs during childhood, it is assumed to be type 1 diabetes. This is usually considered the norm in children and adolescents. The epidemic of obesity, low level of physical activity due to video games and more indoor activities among young adolescents as well as exposure to diabetes in utero, can all be major contributors to the increase in type 2 diabetes during childhood and adolescence. Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents already appears to be a growing problem among U.S. children and adolescents.

Type 2 diabetes affects different ethnic groups but it is more commonly seen in non-white groups. American Indian youth have the highest prevalence. The Center for Disease Control (2007) estimates that in the 15-to-19-year age group, the current prevalences were 50.9 per 1000 for Pima Indians from Arizona; 4.5 per 1000 for all U.S. American Indian populations; 2.3 per 1000 for Canadian First Nation people from Manitoba. The prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in people younger than 20 years of age in the U.S. for 2007 was approximately 186,300 people younger than 20 years have diabetes (type 1 or type 2). This represents 0.2 percent of all people in this age. Type 2 diabetes is still rare in children younger than 10 years old but still does occur in this age group.

The most important intervention that nurses can do is to teach parents and children the importance of diet and exercise since studies have shown that being overweight and sedentary lifestyles are linked to the early onset of type 2 diabetes. There are many new programs being advertised for encouragement of exercise and an active lifestyle, such as the NFL movement for an active generation. The American Diabetes Association (2004) holds diabetes camps throughout the country. At these camps, children can learn many different educational topics such as: insulin injection techniques, insulin pump use, blood glucose monitoring, recognition and management of hypo/ hyperglycemia and ketosis, insulin dosage adjustment based on nutrition and activity schedules, sexual activity and preconception issues, carbohydrate counting, diabetes complications, lifestyle issues, especially related to weight control and exercise for type 2 diabetes, new therapies and problem-solving skills for caring for diabetes at home versus camp. *Amber- this sentence is TOO long. Take some of the things you listed out. If they are very important to your paper... Just make another sentence. These camps are only for children and adolescents that already have a diagnosis of diabetes type 1 or 2. The diabetes camps also give the children a feeling that they are not...
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