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Nearly a quarter of American teenagers have diabetes, a new study says.
Nearly a quarter of all American teenagers have diabetes or prediabetes, a new study has found. The study authors were trying to figure out why American teens have been more susceptible to heart disease in recent years, the Washington Post reported. Heart disease is the number one killer of US adults, and people with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from the condition.
The study also found that diabetes rates in teens are on the rise. Between 1999 and 2008, the study found that teens with diabetes or prediabetes increased from 9 percent to 23 percent, HealthDay reported.
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The study, which looks at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, confirmed that teenage obesity levels have actually leveled off, the New York Times reported. But at the same time, teenagers with diabetes or prediabetes nearly tripled.
“Nationwide, this is the best sampling of youth to inform us about cardiovascular risk factors,” Dr. Lori Laffel, a doctor not involved with the study, told the Times. Researchers could not explain why diabetes and prediabetes rates have risen. One guess is that the increasing use of computers has made kids more sedentary.
"What this is saying, unfortunately, is that we're losing the battle early with many kids," Dr. Stephen Daniels, an expert not involved with the study, told the Associated Press.