Incidence of Diabetes Increased for Youth With Down Syndrome

FRIDAY, Oct. 7, 2022 — The incidence of diabetes is higher in children and young adults with Down syndrome (DS) compared with the general population, according to a study published online Sept. 30 in Diabetes Care.

Aisha A. Aslam, from the Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues conducted a matched population-based retrospective cohort study to examine the associations of DS with the incidence of diabetes and obesity across the life span using data from the U.K. Clinical Practice Research Datalink from 1990 to 2020. Data were analyzed for 9,917 patients with DS and 38,266 control patients.

The researchers found that patients with DS had higher diabetes rates than controls (incidence rate ratio, 3.67) and peaked at a younger age (median age at diagnosis, 38 versus 53 years). The incidence rates for type 1 diabetes were 0.44 and 0.13 per 1,000 person-years for patients with DS and controls, respectively. Patients with DS had higher rates of type 2 diabetes compared with controls in age groups from 5 to 34 years. The peak mean body mass index was higher and reached at a younger age in patients with DS versus controls. An association was seen for obesity with an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes.

“Our study suggests the need for close monitoring and early identification of diabetes (and obesity) in this susceptible population,” the authors write.

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