Diabetes knows no age and affects millions of individuals. Preventing diabetes in children is increasingly becoming a major health policy concern and focus. The objective of this study is to project the number of children, aged 0-17 years, with diagnosed diabetes in the United States through 2030, accounting for changing demography, and diabetes and obesity prevalence rates. The study team combined historic diabetes and obesity prevalence data with US child population estimates and projections. A times-series regression model was used to forecast future diabetes prevalence and to account for the relationship between the forecasted diabetes prevalence and the lagged prevalence of childhood obesity. Overall, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes is projected to increase 67% from 0.22% in 2010 to 0.36% in 2030. Lagged obesity prevalence in Hispanic boys and non-Hispanic black girls was significantly associated with increasing future diabetes prevalence. The study results showed that a 1% increase in obesity prevalence among Hispanic boys from the previous year was significantly associated with a 0.005% increase in future prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in children (P≤0.01). Likewise, a unit increase in obesity prevalence among non-Hispanic black girls was associated with a 0.003% increase in future diabetes prevalence (P<0.05). Obesity rates for other race/ethnicity combinations were not associated with increasing future diabetes prevalence. To mitigate the continued threat posed by diabetes, serious discussions need to focus on the pediatric population, particularly non-Hispanic black girls and Hispanic boys whose obesity trends show the strongest associations with future diabetes prevalence in children.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Leadership and Management
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health