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Diabetes Health Center

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Kids With Diabetes Face Heart Risks

92% of Kids With Type 2 Diabetes Have 2 or More Additional Risk Factors for Heart Disease

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 whites.

  • 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 19.

"We saw more cardiovascular risk factors than you would expect to see in the general population, even in the children with type 1 diabetes," Beatriz L. Rodriguez, MD, PhD, tells WebMD.

The ADA recommends that children with diabetes be monitored carefully for these risk factors, and treated with drugs if necessary.

Rizza says the evidence is mounting that controlling risk factors for heart disease in children with diabetes is at least as important as controlling them in adults with the disease.

That means losing weight, if the children are overweight or obese, getting regular exercise, and taking medication, if needed, to keep blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar at recommended levels.

"We know that we can dramatically lower risk, and maybe even remove it, by doing this," he says.

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