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Black youth and diabetes

OW Staff Writer | 4/13/2011, 5 p.m.

SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth, a five-year, $22 million multi-center study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) that focused on children and youth in the U.S. who have diabetes, is largest studies ever conducted in America looking at young people and diabetes.

Through six clinical centers located in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington about approximately 9,000 children and youth who were diagnosed with diabetes volunteered to participate in this study. Data from these children and youth are providing more information to help us better understand diabetes.

The initial study goals were to:
1. Identify the number of children and youth under age 20 who have diabetes
2. Study how type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes differ, including how they differ by age and race/ethnicity
3. Learn more about the complications of diabetes in children and youth
4. Investigate the different types of care and medical treatment these children and youth receive, and
5. Learn more about how diabetes affects the everyday lives of children and youth who have the disease.
Since its conclusion, the SEARCH study has been providing valuable information to researchers and health care providers attempting to understand and find ways to treat and increase knowledge about diabetes in children and youth.

Following find some of the findings specific to African Americans:
* In youth ages 15-19, African Americans have the highest prevalence rate of diabetes. (Prevalence is a one-time count versus a trend).
* While new cases of diabetes diagnosed in children under age 10 are overwhelmingly type 1; in older African American and Hispanic adolescents about half of all new cases of diabetes tend to be type 1.
* Among African American youth ages 10-19 years, prevalence of type 2 diabetes was one in 1,000 and annual incidence was 19 kids in 100,000 per year who will be diagnosed with type 2
* About 60 percent of African American youth with type 2 diabetes had an annual household income of greater than $25,000.
* Among Black youth 15 and older, 27.5 percent have poorly controlled diabetes putting them at higher risk for developing long-term complications like kidney, heart disease or eye disease
* Of the African American youth in the study who were age 15 or older, 22.5 percent had high blood pressure, and, across subgroups of age and sex, more than 90 percent were overweight or obese.