Type 1 and type 2 diabetes incidence rising in adolescents due to many factors

Goodfellow Gems Logo

Goodfellow Gems

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes incidence rising in adolescents due to many factors  

The incidence of Type 1 (T1D) and type 2 (T2D)  diabetes is rising worldwide particularly in adolescents. It is important to distinguish them from the less common monogenic forms of diabetes.1,2 “The causes are embedded in a complex societal framework that determines behaviour and environmental influences interacting with complex genetic and epigenetic systems.”3

Rate of loss of glycaemic control on lifestyle alone or with metformin monotherapy is three to fourfold higher in adolescents with T2D than published rates in adults.4

More rapid progression of complications is also seen in youth with T2D. Poor management of T1D in adolescents include family conflict about diabetes, depressive symptoms, diabetes distress and low socioeconomic resources. 

Protective skills include confidence and a positive attitude to handling diabetes-related challenges, seeking and receiving appropriate help from family and health care providers. Building diabetes strengths in adolescents may improve outcomes.

This Gem has been checked by Dr Rinki Murphy, Diabetes Specialist Greenlane and Middlemore Hospitals.


  1. Editorial. Adolescents with diabetes. Lancet (2015) Click here
  2.  Care of diabetes in children and adolescents: controversies, changes, and consensus. Lancet (2015) Click here
  3. The worldwide epidemiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus - present and future perspectives. Nature Reviews Endocrinology (2012) Click here
  4. Youth-Onset Type 2 Diabetes Consensus Report: Current Status, Challenges, and Priorities. Diabetes Care (2016) Click here

    Gems are chosen by the Goodfellow director Dr. Bruce Arroll to be either practice changing or practice maintaining. The information is educational and not clinical advice.

    This Gem is supported by:
    As published in NZ Doctor 9/05/2018