From Elkhart, Indiana, USA:
Can you indicate the incidence of Type 1 diabetes in children below the age of 6 years of age? It seems as if the community at large is unaware that diabetes can hit a child at any age. Is the incidence of diabetes rising? Is there any effort being made to show more Public Service Announcements on diabetes presentation so that parents can be more assertive in asking for the simple testing required for a diagnosis? It is amazing how many parents of very young diabetic children who talk about not being diagnosed until very late because the physicians are sure "it's not diabetes, it is very rare in a child that age." I am not bashing physicians. I have a great deal of respect for the medical community. I am only concerned that there is not enough information on diabetes in the very young being out in the mainstream.
Statistics on the prevalence of diabetes can be found at the web site of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). From their Diabetes Statistics page we learn that 123,000 people under the age of 20 have diabetes. No further breakdown is provided.
The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation has a new public service announcement campaign aimed at raising awareness that insulin is not a cure for Type 1 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association also has a new diabetes alert campaign aimed at identifying people with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes. I am not aware of any campaign to educate primary care physicians of the prevalence of Type 1 in children.
Original posting 18 Mar 1999
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention
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