From Savannah, Georgia, USA:
My niece was diagnosed at age 3. Recently her sister was diagnosed (also at age 3). At the last visit to my pediatrician, he made the statement, "If you would have asked me two years ago if a child under the age of two could have diabetes I would have said the chances would be slim." He also said that he now diagnoses on average three a week. If you look at the demographics you can see that Savannah has had a tremendous increase in the past year of diabetes. Who do I contact to get to the bottom of this? It seems odd that we have a major increase when other cities have maintained an average. We need to find out what is causing this outbreak.
Regrettably, diabetes in little children is epidemic worldwide.
Additional comments from Dr. Donough O'Brien:I am not clear whether you are basing your statement about "a tremendous increase in diabetes in Savannah in the last year" on what the pediatrician said or on some other figures. I have not read of any such regional increases although there have been a significant number of reports from all over the world indicating a steady rise in the incidence of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in children. No one quite knows why this should be; but the most striking increases have been in populations like circumpolar tribes in Canada that have been relatively suddenly exposed to the ways of developed countries, especially to their diets.
The best source for specific figures in the U.S. might be through a telephone call to the nearest office of the American Diabetes Association.
Original posting 18 May 2000
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention
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