Author Affiliation: Department of Pediatrics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
Diabetes mellitus takes a huge toll on individual patients in terms of health care complications, such as blindness, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, and amputations, and also exacts a huge burden on society, in terms of consumption of health care resources. Diabetes occurring early in life has even more devastating effects on the ability of young patients to live full lives and results in substantially increased health care costs related to treating a lifelong, complex disease. Diabetes is the most prevalent chronic disease of childhood after asthma1; therefore, monitoring trends in childhood diabetes is a public health imperative.
Lipton RB. Incidence of Diabetes in Children and Youth—Tracking a Moving Target. JAMA. 2007;297(24):2760-2762. doi:10.1001/jama.297.24.2760