Being overweight and obesity during adolescence are associated with a disproportionately higher risk for cardiovascular disease risk factors, especially prediabetes and diabetes, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics.
Analyzing data from the “National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,” researchers found that among adolescents ages 12 to 19 years, the prevalence of prediabetes/diabetes increased from 9% in the 1999 to 2000 NHANES to 23% during the 2007 to 2008 NHANES. While prediabetes/diabetes experienced an increase, the researchers noted that other CVD risk factors — such as prehypertension/hypertension (17% and 13%) and high to borderline-high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (23% and 19%) — saw no significant change when observed in the 1999 to 2000 NHANES and 2007 to 2008 NHANES.
Another study, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last April, found that young people with diabetes had much higher medical costs per year than those without it. For nondiabetic youth, costs per year were $1,468, compared with $9,061 for those who had the disease. Much of the extra cost came from prescription drugs and outpatient care. Those with the highest medical costs were treated with insulin, including all those with Type 1 diabetes and some with Type 2. Children and adolescents who received insulin treatment had annual medical costs of $9,333, compared with $5,683 for those who took oral medications.