Diabetes study shows alarming growth in juvenile cases

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DENVER -- Researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health say the number of cases of diabetes nationwide has jumped by well over 30 percent between 2001 and 2009.

For years, medical experts have warned that diabetes among children was a growing problem.  The plan of action now is to continue to educate parents about how to even the odds by starting early when it comes to testing, proper nutrition and exercise.

The study showed Type 1 diabetes, usually more prominent in Caucasians, is becoming more prevalent in most races, except the Native American population.

Dr. Dana Dabelea of the Colorado School of Public Health said both genders show increases in diabetes.  She warned the nation’s healthcare system is bound to overloaded when many young patients come of age and develop complications.

"These increases are serious and should draw attention to the fact that the healthcare systems needs to be prepared and take care of these kids now," Dabelea said.

If left untreated, diabetes can lead to a range of health problems including nerve damage and glaucoma.

The cause of Type 1  diabetes is still somewhat of  a mystery.  It can develop in patients regardless of weight or even family history.

Type 2 can be linked to an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle.  Doctors encourage parents to battle the odds by making sure kids eat balanced meals with plenty of fresh vegetables.  Children should also get regular exercise and receive regular medical check-ups to make sure their blood sugar is under control.

For more information about diabetes you can visit The American Diabetes Association.   For more on the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Research is the key to understanding how diabetes  works.  To support the effort, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation will hold the Annual Dream Gala on Saturday May 17th.

Doors open at 6 p.m. at the Seawell  Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center For The Performing Arts.  You may purchase tickets to support the JDRF here.