Epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes in Children

The alarming increase in the number of overweight and obese children in the United States is generating anew threat - type 2 diabetes. Typically found in adults, type 2 is becoming more prevalent in children. Parents with at-risk children should have them screened for the condition.

A nationwide multicenter medical research study of an investigational drug for type 2 diabetes is taking place at Memorial Health in Savannah. This research study may offer eligible children a preliminary screening test for type 2 diabetes at no cost. Those interested in learning more can call 1-800-701-4925 or visit www.type2kids.com.

New research suggests that childhood inactivity and obesity play a major role in the early development of this disease. Family history and ethnicity are also risk factors. The majority of children with the disease have a first- or second-degree relative with the condition.

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder resulting from the body's resistance to and inability to make enough insulin, the hormone that turns blood sugar into energy. A child may have the disease and not be aware of it because it is often without symptoms for long periods of time. If not controlled early, type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of serious complications developing later, including kidney and heart disease. Early diagnosis is key to providing children with the knowledge needed to manage the condition and reduce the future risk of these health problems.