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Disparities in Diabetes Deaths Among Children and Adolescents — United States, 2000–2014
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    28520705
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5657647
  • Description:
    Diabetes is a common chronic disease of childhood affecting approximately 200,000 children and adolescents in the United States (1). Children and adolescents with diabetes are at increased risk for death from acute complications of diabetes, including hypoglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis (2,3); in 2012, CDC reported that during 1968-2009, diabetes mortality among U.S. persons aged ≤19 years declined by 61% (4). CDC observed disparities by race during 1979-2004, with black children and adolescents dying from diabetes at twice the rate of white children and adolescents (5). However, no previous study has examined Hispanic ethnicity. CDC analyzed data from the National Vital Statistics System for deaths among persons aged 1-19 years in the United States during 2000-2014, with diabetes listed as the underlying cause of death overall, and for Hispanic, non-Hispanic white (white), and non-Hispanic black (black) children and adolescents. During 2012-2014, black children and adolescents had the highest diabetes death rate (2.04 per 1 million population), followed by whites (0.92) and Hispanics (0.61). There were no statistically significant changes in diabetes death rates over the study period, but disparities persisted among racial/ethnic groups. Death from diabetes in children and adolescents is potentially preventable through increased awareness of diabetes symptoms (including symptoms of low blood sugar), earlier treatment and education related to diabetes, and management of diabetes ketoacidosis. Continued measures are needed to reduce diabetes mortality in children and understand the cause of racial and ethnic disparities.

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