Sonia Caprio, associate professor of endocrinology and pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine and senior author of the article, said the study was in response to the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States, along with an accompanying increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents.
Type One diabetes is usually first diagnosed in young children. Type 2, or, adult onset diabetes, often does not manifest itself until a person is middle aged or elderly.
"Most of these children are at high risk for type 2 diabetes," Caprio said. "And, if they develop diabetes before the age of 20, they face a lifetime of being at very high risk for complications from diabetes."
A glucose tolerance test evaluates the bodys capacity to metabolize glucose, based upon the ability of the liver to absorb and store excess glucose as glycogen.
Caprio and her co-researchers looked at a multi-ethnic group of 167 severely obese children and adolescents. All underwent a two-hour oral glucose tolerance test during which glucose, insulin and C-peptide levels were measured.
The glucose intolerance was as prevalent among Caucasians as it was among African American and Hispanic children, who traditionally have higher rates of diabetes. The condition also was more prevalent among girls than boys.
Impaired glucose tolerance was detected in 25 percent of the children four to 10
years of age, and 21 percent of the adolescents 11 to 18 years of age. Silent type 2 diabetes, which means the persons are not aware they are diabetic, was identified in four of the adolescents. Two were Hispanic and two were African American. In addition, three of th
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