Childhood Type 2 Diabetes Increases Risk of Kidney Failure

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children is on the rise. In addition to living with this deadly disease, those children infected are at higher risk for kidney failure later in life.

A recent study out of Phoenix has found that children and teenagers who develop type 2 diabetes are five times more likely to suffer kidney failure in adulthood than individuals who contract type 2 diabetes as adults.

In the study, 1,856 diabetic members of the Pima Indians of Arizona, a group known to have a very high incidence of diabetes (50.9 cases per 1000 persons), were divided into two groups: youth-onset (before age 20) type 2 diabetics and adult-onset type 2 diabetics. 96 participants had youth-onset diabetes, while the remaining 1760 had adult-onset diabetes.

Of the 1,856 participants, 148 developed end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the technical name for kidney failure, and of those, 15 were from the youth-onset group. The other 133 were from the adult-onset group. Adjusting for age-sex components, the study concluded that ESRD incidence for youth-onset type 2 diabetes is 25 cases per 1000, and 5.4 cases of ESRD per 1000 for those with adult-onset type 2 diabetes.

More specifically, youth-onset diabetics were eight times more likely to have ESRD between the ages of 25-34, five times more likely between the ages 35-44, and four times more likely between the ages 45-54, than adult-onset type 2 diabetics.

Dr. Robert G. Nelson, lead author of the study, offered this explanation for the results: “Since the development of diabetic kidney disease is strongly dependent on the duration of diabetes, developing diabetes in youth leads to a high risk of kidney disease in early- to mid-adulthood.”

Many attribute the rise in type 2 diabetes in children to the growing obesity epidemic. The increased risk of kidney failure further enforces the necessity of children practicing a healthy lifestyle with well-balanced diets and exercise.

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Pavkov, Meda. Bennett, Peter. Nelson, Robert, et al. JAMA. “Effect of Youth-Onset Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus on Incidence of End-Stage Renal Disease and Mortality in Young and Middle-Aged Pima Indians.” July 2006.

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