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CDC Reports Fewer Child Deaths from Diabetes

Emma | December 17th, 2012

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In November 2012, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that fewer American children are dying from diabetes than in years past. Possible reasons for this reduction revolve around greater awareness and better treatments for the disease, which include medications and a healthy diabetic diet.

Today, physicians are better informed on the danger signs of child diabetes, and can diagnose the condition before tragedy strikes. Even more, parents and children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have better access to specialized diabetes diets, which help establish menus to control blood sugar naturally. Furthermore, doctor-guided diet and exercise programs, such as those available through The Center for Medical Weight Loss, can help children adhere to diabetic diet guidelines while still keeping their daily menus tasty and nutritious.

Childhood deaths from diabetes decrease 61%

According to CDC officials, the death rate from childhood diabetes decreased from 2.69 million deaths annually (1968-1969) to just 1.05 million deaths each year (2008-2009). Researchers attributed the 61% fall to improved diagnosis, care, and treatment of diabetes. Another possible reason is greater awareness of diabetes symptoms, not only in medical professionals but also the population at large. Notably, the decline was even greater for children under 10 – the death rate fell from 1.8 to 0.39 deaths per million (a decrease of 78%). For pre-teens and teens aged 10-19, the rate declined 52%, from 3.56 to 1.71 per million.

Teen diabetes death increases 1.6%

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news. Researchers also found that in children aged 10-19, the diabetes death rate increased by 1.6% between 1984 and 2004. Though the reasons for this increase are unknown, experts hypothesize that it could be because these children are diagnosed younger and therefore live longer than they would have in the past. In other words, instead of dying before their tenth birthday, they now live into the 10-19 year age range.

Medication and a diabetic diet lead to fewer deaths

To knock the death rate even lower, Dr. Spyros Mezitis, of NYC’s Lenox Hill Hospital, advised, “Physicians need to emphasize diabetes awareness, lifestyle modification, psychological issues, and use of insulin pumps in young diabetic patients.” CDC researchers also opined, “deaths resulting from diabetes in youths potentially are preventable, and these findings indicate a need for improved diabetes diagnosis and care, especially among youths aged 10 to 19 years, whose risk for diabetes-related mortality appears to have increased in recent years.”

One of the most important lifestyle modifications that can save young lives is the adoption of a diabetic diet. Diabetes diets are healthy and sustainable – they don’t employ significant calorie cutting or food deprivation. Instead, they emphasize nutritious choices like healthy fats and whole grains, which can help regulate blood sugar naturally.

If your child has been diagnosed with diabetes, The Center for Medical Weight Loss can help. Our doctor-guided programs are customized to each individual, so we’ll take your child’s food preferences and health requirements into account when building a personalized weight loss plan. Doctors everywhere agree: people who lose weight successfully lead healthier, happier lives. Enter your zip code above to see if there is a Center near you. Special offers are available for first time visitors at select locations.