Kids With Diabetes Face Heart Risks
92% of Kids With Type 2 Diabetes Have 2 or More Additional Risk Factors for Heart Disease
July 27, 2006 -- Just as in adults, diabetesin
children is skyrocketing around the globe, and it is increasingly clear that
kids with the disease are at risk for many of the same life-threatening
conditions, including heart disease.
In a study funded by the CDC, one in five kids with any diabetes was found
to have two or more additional risk factors for premature heart disease.
The figure was closer to nine out of 10 in children with type 2 diabetes,
which is closely linked to obesity.
Earlier this week it was reported that children with type 2 diabetes also
face a higher risk of life-threatening kidney
diseaseand early death, compared
with people with diabetes diagnosed in adulthood.
The two studies present some of the strongest evidence yet that young age is
not protective against the body-ravaging chronic diseases commonly seen in
people with diabetes, American Diabetes Association (ADA) president Robert
Rizza, MD, tells WebMD.
"Clearly this is not a more benign disease in children," he says.
"We are getting a better picture of the great tragedy of diabetes in
children and adolescents. They are exposed to the full spectrum of diabetes
complications, but [these complications] are occurring in their 20s, 30s, and
40s, instead of later in life."
Even Very Young Had Heart Disease Risk
The new findings, published in the August issue of the ADA journal
Diabetes Care, come from an ongoing, multiethnic study examining the
long-term impact of childhood diabetes.
The latest analysis included 2,096 children and teens with diabetes from
across the U.S., including Hawaii. Three-quarters of the participants were
non-Hispanic whites, but children from ethnic groups known to have an elevated
diabetes risk were also included, including African-Americans, Native
Americans, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders.
Most of the children were between the ages of 10 and 19, but 466 were
younger. Most also had confirmed or suspected type 1 disease, with 160 having
confirmed or suspected type 2 diabetes.
Researchers measured the children's waist circumference, as a marker for
obesity. They also did blood tests to determine levels of cholesterol and triglycerides(blood fat), and checked blood
pressure readings. They found a high prevalence of these risk factors for heart
disease, even in children younger than age 10.
Heart Risk Among Ethnic Groups
Among the specific findings:
92% of the children with type 2 diabeteshad 2
or more of the additional risk factors for heart disease, compared with 14% of children with
type 1 disease.
Among all of the children with diabetes, 68% of the American Indian children
had at least 2 of the risk factors, as did 37% of the Asians and Pacific
Islanders, 35% of Hispanics, 32% of African-Americans, and 16% of non-Hispanic
7% of children with diabetes aged 3 to 9 years had 2 or more additional
heart disease risk factors, as did 25% of kids between the ages of 10 and