New research led by a team at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center details an unprecedented increase in the number of new type 2 diabetes diagnoses among youth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, “whether the increase was caused by COVID-19 infection, or just associated with environmental changes and stressors during the pandemic is unclear,” authors wrote.
Investigators assessed records of more than 3,000 children newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between March 2018 and February 2021.
Findings, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, showed new diagnoses of type 2 diabetes rose by 77 percent during the first year of the pandemic. A total of 825 cases were identified on average in the two pre-pandemic years compared with 1,463 in the first year of the pandemic.
Diagnosis rates nearly doubled in Hispanic youth over the past two years, while rates in Black children doubled but rates in white children declined. The majority of newly diagnosed cases were among youth with public insurance.