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P R Health Sci J. 2005 Jun;24(2):111-7.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus among youth in Puerto Rico, 2003.

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Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Medical Science Campus, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan.



To describe the clinical characteristics, and estimate the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus among Puerto Rican youth, 1995-2003.


All patients aged less than 20 years with a confirmed diagnosis of type 2 diabetes were identified from pediatric endocrinologists' medical practices. Medical records of each patient were reviewed to confirm the diagnosis, classify the type of diabetes, and gather sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. From 1995 to 2003 a total of 32,444 records were reviewed. A total of 2,800 children with diabetes were identified, of which 2,702 were type 1 and 93 type 2; typel/type 2 ratio was 29:1. Frequency distributions were obtained for categorical variables, and summary measures (mean +/- standard deviation) for quantitative measure were computed.


Mean age at first visit was 14 years. The majority of cases were females (69%), for a female/ male ratio of 2.2:1. 78.5% had a family history of the disease, 74.2% were overweight, and 48% had acanthosis nigricans. 64.5% of the cases were receiving some type of hypoglycemic therapy. 18.5% of the cases had severe hypertension while 17.5% had cholesterol levels considered at increased risk (e"200). The overall prevalence was 13.5 per 100,000 population.


This study is the first that describes the frequency and clinical presentation of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents in a sample of Puerto Ricans. Further investigations must be conducted to obtain a more precise estimate of the burden of type 2 diabetes in youth and to raise awareness of this condition among health care professionals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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