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11-01-2016 | Adolescents | Article

Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology

Challenges in diagnosis and management of diabetes in the young

Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology

Authors: Ranjit Unnikrishnan, Viral N. Shah, Viswanathan Mohan

Publisher: BioMed Central


The prevalence of diabetes in children and adolescents is increasing worldwide, with profound implications on the long-term health of individuals, societies, and nations. The diagnosis and management of diabetes in youth presents several unique challenges. Although type 1 diabetes is more common among children and adolescents, the incidence of type 2 diabetes in youth is also on the rise, particularly among certain ethnic groups. In addition, less common types of diabetes such as monogenic diabetes syndromes and diabetes secondary to pancreatopathy (in some parts of the world) need to be accurately identified to initiate the most appropriate treatment. A detailed patient history and physical examination usually provides clues to the diagnosis. However, specific laboratory and imaging tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis. The management of diabetes in children and adolescents is challenging in some cases due to age-specific issues and the more aggressive nature of the disease. Nonetheless, a patient-centered approach focusing on comprehensive risk factor reduction with the involvement of all concerned stakeholders (the patient, parents, peers and teachers) could help in ensuring the best possible level of diabetes control and prevention or delay of long-term complications.

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