Sobering news from a federally funded study of nearly 700 youths with Type 2 diabetes found that it's extremely hard to keep the disease under control. Even a common diabetes pill failed to keep blood sugar at safe levels in half of them.
Here are some facts about teens and diabetes:
_ About 215,000 Americans under age 20 have diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body can't make insulin. Type 2 is related to obesity and occurs when the body can't use insulin properly.
_ About 3,600 youths are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every year. Minorities are disproportionately affected.
_ Teens can lower their risk of Type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight, being more active and eating healthy foods.
_ If diabetes is not controlled, it can lead to serious problems including vision loss, nerve damage, kidney failure, limb amputation _ even heart attacks and strokes.
_ A third of teens are obese or overweight, putting them at risk of Type 2.