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According to a state report, diabetes affects more young adults



Diabetes is affecting more young adults, who struggle to control blood sugar and end up in hospital care more often than older adults with chronic disease.

The finding, reported Monday by the Minnesota Department of Health, did not surprise doctors who work daily with young and old patients, but suggests that health officials may need to rethink state diabetes support programs, which tend to address people 45 years of age or older.

"We need to adapt our care and outreach to meet the needs of young adults with diabetes," said State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. "These people have a long life ahead of them, and it is important to make sure that diabetes is managed well so that they can live those years in good health."

Adults 44 and under make up only 16 percent of Minnesota's diabetic population. But a study by researchers from the Department of Health and the University of Minnesota found that they are almost three times more likely than adults between 45 and 64 years to need hospital admissions for their diseases and four times more likely than those who are 65 years or more

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention UU They reported the results in their journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce or respond to insulin, a hormone involved in metabolism and regulation of blood sugar. It is one of the main causes of stroke, heart and kidney diseases and eye and circulatory problems.

The study included people with type 1 diabetes, whose bodies develop little or no insulin and are often diagnosed in childhood, and people with type 2 diabetes, whose bodies become resistant to insulin over time.

That could have tilted the results against younger people, because type 1 diabetes is often found in younger people and is more difficult to manage. But all the young adults in the study struggled to reach blood sugar levels; only 25.4 percent of people with type 1 met the recommended levels, compared to 46.3 percent with type 2.

"None of them is reaching the mark," said Renee Kidney, lead author of the study.

Two decades ago, type 2 diabetes was rarely diagnosed in young adults and children. But it has become a serious health problem due to its link to the rising rate of obesity in the US. UU Research has found that it is more serious in young adults and makes them need synthetic insulin injections earlier than those who develop the disease at older ages.

Diabetes can also be harder to manage for young adults, who lead less predictable lives as they find careers, change jobs, meet with their spouses and have children, Kidney said.

The study found that young adults with diabetes are also more likely to smoke, which can exacerbate symptoms and suffer depression.

Young adults may feel despair at being diagnosed with a lifelong illness and blame for not having "managed" diabetes, said Dr. Amy Criego, an endocrinologist at Park Nicollet who was not involved in the study.

"It's very easy for young people to feel judged by the labels that are placed on them when it comes to controlling their diabetes," he said.

The rising cost of insulin may also be a more serious challenge for young adults because they have less access to health insurance, compared to older people, he added.

Criego was optimistic. The study was based on clinical records and surveys of 2015 and earlier. Portable and portable insulin pumps have become more common since then, along with diabetes and phone-enabled applications for diabetes.

"Glucose management is more difficult in that age group, just because of the smaller structure in their environments and their lifestyles," he said, "but they are also more tech-savvy. So maybe it will balance. "

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