Increasing cases of diabetes in children and adolescents in Germany

In a study conducted by the German Diabetes Center, the incidence rates for type 1 and type 2 diabetes in 15,000 children and adolescents under the age of 20 were evaluated for the period from 2002 to 2020. The number of diabetes cases in children and adolescents in Germany has increased significantly over the past 20 years. Not only type 2 diabetes, but also type 1 diabetes is occurring more frequently. The incidence rate of type 2 diabetes, which is often associated with obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle, has increased by almost 5%. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which insulin-producing cells are destroyed. An annual incidence rate of 2% has been calculated for this form.

In 25% of the children and adolescents studied, the development of type 2 diabetes is associated with diagnosed obesity.

Researchers suggest that the increasing incidence rate of type 1 diabetes is due to changing environmental factors such as diet, lifestyle, viral infections, and reduced biodiversity. A complex interaction of genetic predisposition and the above-mentioned factors is also being discussed. Despite intensive research, it is still not possible to define clear causes.

This study shows once again the importance of diabetes awareness and reliable diagnosis for all age groups.

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