Diabetes Rate Increases in Young Adults

June 10, 2009
Drug Benefit Trends, Drug Benefit Trends Vol 20 No 1, Volume 20, Issue 1

The rate of onset of type 2 diabetes and related hospitalizations is rising in young adults in the United States aged 20 to 29, according to results of a study published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

The rate of onset of type 2 diabetes and related hospitalizations is rising in young adults in the United States aged 20 to 29, according to results of a study published in the December issue of  Diabetes Care. A team of researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor led by Joyce M. Lee, MD, MPH, assistant professor of pediatric endocrinology, evaluated the diabetes burden from the perspective of trends in hospitalizations with any diabetes coding in children and young adults.

The investigators analyzed diabetes-related hospital discharge rates and associated hospital charges for patients aged 29 years and younger from 1993 to 2004. The study sample was made up of more than 2 million discharges for each year. They found that the hospitalization rate increased 38%, from 99.1 per 100,000 patients in 1993 to 136.4 per 100,000 in 2004. Hospitalization rates with any diabetes coding increased from 152.6 per 100,000 to 222.2 per 100,000 among patients aged 20 to 24, and from 224.9 per 100,000 to 331.2 per 100,000 in those aged 25 to 29.

For children up to age 14 years, diabetes-associated hospitalization rates remained stable during the same period. The rates were approximately 20 to 30 per 100,000 for children up to age 9 years, increasing to about 70 per 100,000 for children aged 10 to 14 years. The stable rates in the younger patients most likely reflect the time required for obesity to produce insulin resistance and diabetes, said Lee.

Hospitalization rates increased significantly for male and female patients during the 12-year period but were consistently higher for female patients. The rates rose from 77 per 100,000 in 1993 to 99.3 per 100,000 in 2004 for male patients, and from 122.1 per 100,000 in 1993 to 174.1 per 100,000 in 2004 for female patients. The researchers also found that inflation-adjusted hospital charges associated with diabetes increased 130%, from $1.05 billion in 1993 to $2.42 billion in 2004.

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