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U.S. diabetes in teens doubled in 8 years

May 21, 2012 at 6:20 PM   |   Comments

ATLANTA, May 21 (UPI) -- Diabetes and pre-diabetes in U.S. children ages 12-19 more than doubled from 9 percent in 2000 to 23 percent in 2008, health officials say.

Lead author Ashleigh May, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined health data on about 3,400 adolescents ages 12-19 from 1999 to 2008 participating in the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The survey included a detailed physical examination.

About one-third of adolescents were overweight or obese, which increases their risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other health issues, May said.

The study published in the journal Pediatrics also found overall, half of overweight teens and nearly two-thirds of obese adolescents have one or more risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high levels of low-density lipoprotein, or the "bad" cholesterol. One-third of normal-weight adolescents had at least one risk factor for heart disease.

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