News Release

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Diabetes Rates Are Increasing Among Youth

NDEP Introduces New Resources to Help Teens Manage the Disease.

While most children and young adults with diabetes have type 1, soaring obesity rates are making type 2 diabetes, a disease that used to be seen primarily in adults over age 45, more common among young people. To help young people diagnosed with diabetes and their parents, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is introducing a new series of tip sheets and an online quiz specially created for teens to help them manage their disease and reduce their risk for complications. NDEP is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 154,000 youth under age 20 have diabetes in the United States. According to data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2006, one in 523 people younger than age 20 has diabetes. Among this group, 79 percent are aged 10 to 19 years.

NDEP's new Tips for Teens with Diabetes series, which encourages youth to take steps to manage their disease for a long, healthy life, includes topics such as What is Diabetes?, Be Active, Make Healthy Food Choices, Stay at a Healthy Weight, and Dealing with the Ups and Downs of Diabetes. NDEP also has a tip sheet addressing teens at risk for type 2 diabetes, called Lower Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes. In addition, NDEP has developed an interactive online quiz for teens with diabetes based on information found in the tip sheets, using a question-and-answer format, with direct links to the new series of tip sheets. All of the tip sheets are available at no charge from the NDEP.

The release of NDEP's new educational materials for teens and their parents coincides with National Diabetes Awareness Month in November. The new tools also support the 2007 World Diabetes Day campaign theme "Diabetes in Children and Adolescents," which raises awareness of the rising prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes among youth around the world. World Diabetes Day, November 14, is sponsored by the International Diabetes Federation.

NDEP's new resources support youth with diabetes and their families to ensure their health and well-being now and into adulthood. For more information about NDEP's free resources for children and teens, visit or call 1-888-693-NDEP (6337).

NDEP chair-elect Francine Kaufman, M.D., head of the Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism for the Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, is chair of the Youth Section for World Diabetes Day. Listen to an NIH Radio interview with Dr. Kaufman about diabetes in youth and World Diabetes Day at

NIDDK, a component of the NIH, conducts and supports research in diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutrition, and obesity; and kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases. Spanning the full spectrum of medicine and afflicting people of all ages and ethnic groups, these diseases encompass some of the most common, severe, and disabling conditions affecting Americans. For more information about NIDDK and its programs, see

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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