T2DM has emerged as a serious public health problem in the pediatric population, with its escalating rates paralleling the epidemic of childhood obesity. A high index of suspicion is important to prompt screening in the clinical setting of high-risk youth. Screening helps in the early diagnosis and initiation of therapy in subclinical or silent cases of T2DM in youth. The objective and theory behind early diagnosis are the preservation of pancreatic beta-cell function and the prevention of the relentless decline in insulin secretion. In our efforts to treat hyperglycemia and its associated complications, however, we must remember to treat the patient as a whole, including obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and psychosocial disorders - all conditions frequently present in youth who have T2DM. Finally, as we gain more experience - both clinical and research - our approaches to some of these problems and recommendations may change over time. In addition to research, public health measures to increase activities of children and youth, along with public education campaigns for healthy eating may have a profound influence in curbing the epidemic of obesity and its related complications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health