Saturday, July 15, 2017

Average age of onset for type 2 diabetes

Published in the MNT weekly Newsletter, written by Jennifer Huizen and reviewed by Alana Biggers, MD, MPH

My nephew who is in his 30’s went to Africa and developed Type 2 Diabetes, and he almost died because he did not know what he had and did not get diagnosed until he came back to Canada. My Aunt died on Type One Diabetes when she was in her 40’s. It is important to know be screened for Diabetes. The following article shows how serious this condition is in the US.

Many people with diabetes do not know they have it, making regular screening tests important for those at risk.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend annual diabetes screening tests after the age of 45. But the age at which someone develops the condition depends on too many differing factors to accurately predict.

A wide mix of individual health and lifestyle factors can influence the progression of the condition. Many people have diabetes for years before being diagnosed, causing a large variation between the age of onset and age of diagnosis.

Meanwhile, some estimates claim that nearly one-third of those with diabetes do not know they have it, which further complicates estimates. And many national surveys and studies do not distinguish between rates of type 1 and 2 diabetes in adults.

According to the CDC, from 1997 through to 2011, the average age at which a person was diagnosed with diabetes in the United States was largely the same, at around 54 years of age.

While there might not be a set age for onset for type 2 diabetes, age greatly increases the chances of developing the condition.

In 2014, an estimated 4.3 percent of Americans over 20 years of age had diabetes, while 13.4 percent of those aged 45-64, and 11.2 percent of those aged 65 or older, had the condition.

A 2016 study found that the rates of type 2 diabetes were up to seven times higher in Chinese adults, aged 55-74 than they were in those aged 20-34 years.

The ADA report that rates of diabetes remain high in the elderly population, impacting some 25 percent of that aged 65-plus.

Once considered an adult-only condition, type 2 diabetes is becoming an increasing problem in children and adolescents worldwide. An estimated 12 out of every 100,000 American youths under the age of 20 are diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes, with diagnosis occurring at an average age of 14.

Risk factors 
Anything that impacts blood sugars increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

Common factors that can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes include:
·       being more than 45 years old
·       being overweight
·       having excess abdominal or belly fat
·       poor diet, especially those high in excess or refined sugars and fats
·       inactivity
·       having family members with diabetes
·       having diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
·       giving birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds
·       high cholesterol (high triglycerides and low levels of HDL)
·       high blood pressure
·       history of heart disease and, or stroke
·       liver and, or kidney disease
·       polycystic ovary syndrome
·       depression

Sex, race, or ethnic background
Differences between the chances of developing type 2 diabetes and the age of diagnosis may also depend on sex and race or ethnic background.

The CDC noted that from 1997 to 2011, American men were diagnosed roughly 2 years earlier than women and that African-Americans and Hispanics were diagnosed around 6 years earlier than Caucasians.

After experiencing fairly similar rates of diabetes for decades, prevalence rates between the sexes is slowly changing. In 2014, an estimated 6.6 percent of American men and 5.9 percent of women had diabetes.

According to the ADA, diabetes impacts people of some races or ethnic backgrounds far more than others.

Lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity levels, may be to blame for higher prevalence rates but the research is still inconclusive.

Current rates of people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with diabetes according to race or ethnic background:
·       7.6 percent of non-Hispanic whites
·       9 percent of Asian Americans (4.4 percent of Chinese, 8.8 percent of other Asian Americans, 11.3 percent of Filipinos, 13 percent of Asian Indians)
·       12.8 percent of Hispanics (8.5 percent of Central and South Americans, 9.3 percent of Cubans, 13.9 percent of Mexican Americans, 14.8 percent for Puerto Ricans)
·       13.2 percent of non-Hispanic blacks
·       15.9 percent of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives

American children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes tend to be obese and have a family history of diabetes. Furthermore, they are either of African American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, or American Indian descent.

Ways to reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes

Often those with type 2 diabetes do not know they have the condition until physical symptoms occur, such as increased thirst, hunger, and fatigue. That means most of what is known about the early progression of the condition is based on information gained from tracking people with prediabetes, the condition that precedes type 2 diabetes.

According to the CDC, at least 86 million Americans have prediabetes. Roughly 90 percent of people with prediabetes do not know they have it.

Without treatment, 15 to 30 percent of those with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years of diagnosis. But for people with prediabetes, making diet and lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

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