Skip to content

Continuing rise of Type 2 diabetes incidence in children and young people in the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-744
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number6
Early online date24 Mar 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 13 Jan 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jun 2018


AIMS: To estimate the incidence of Type 2 diabetes in children aged <17 years, compare this with similar data 10 years ago, and characterize clinical features at diagnosis in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

METHODS: Using the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit reporting framework, cases of Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in children aged <17 years between 1 April 2015 and 30 April 2016 were reported each month.

RESULTS: A total of 106 cases were reported, giving a UK incidence of 0.72/100 000 (95% CI 0.58-0.88). Children from ethnic minorities had significantly higher incidence compared with white children (0.44/100 000) with rates of 2.92/100 000 and 1.67/100 000, in South-Asian and black/African/Caribbean/black British children respectively. Sixty-seven percent were girls and 81% had a family history of Type 2 diabetes. The mean BMI sd score at diagnosis was 2.89 (2.88, girls; 2.92, boys); 81% were obese. Children of South-Asian ethnicity had a significantly lower BMI sd score compared with white children (P<0.001). There was a trend in increased incidence from 2005 to 2015, with a rate ratio of 1.35 (95% CI 0.99-1.84), although this was not statistically significant (P=0.062). There was statistical evidence of increased incidence among girls (P=0.03) and children of South-Asian ethnicity (P=0.01) when comparing the 2005 and 2015 surveys.

CONCLUSIONS: Type 2 diabetes remains far less common than Type 1 diabetes in childhood in the UK, but the number of cases continues to rise, with significantly increased incidence among girls and South-Asian children over a decade. Female gender, family history, non-white ethnicity and obesity were found to be strongly associated with the condition. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Download statistics

No data available



  • Full-text PDF (final published version)

    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Wiley at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Final published version, 212 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups