Increasing numbers of children and adolescents are developing type 2 diabetes. Symptoms of this condition include obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, insulin resistance and hypertension. Type 2 diabetes is more common in girls and families with a positive history of the disease. Diagnosis is often delayed and may identify the presence of chronic complications. An oral glucose tolerance test and a two-hour plasma glucose assessment are the best screening and diagnostic investigations. Treatment is based on weight reduction with diet and exercise, glycaemia monitoring and medication if necessary.
Valerie Wilson outlines the issues resulting from the ongoing rise in the number of children and young people diagnosed with this disorder