Current Content
Volume 45 - Number 6
November/December 2019

Youth-Onset Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus In Primary Practice: A Review
Kimberly Egan Gonzalez and Wyona Freysteinson

Background: Youth-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus is alarmingly on the rise. A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes at a young age leads to complications and a potential shortened lifespan.

Purpose: To provide the primary care provider with evidence-based findings of youth-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus, including signs and symptoms, screening protocols and risk factors, complications and comorbidities to monitor, and management goals.

Methods: A literature review was completed using the CINAHL, Medline, and PubMed databases with the key terms type 2 diabetes mellitus, adolescents, risk factors, complications, and treatment. Limits included articles written in English and published between 2013-2019.

Findings: Adolescents are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus at the onset of puberty or around the age of 10 years, and the numbers are increasing. The diagnosis is more aggressive in this age group leading to complications much quicker than when diagnosed later in life.

Conclusion: It is important for primary care practitioners to be aware of the risk factors and to screen this age group even if asymptomatic. Early treatment and continued evaluation for diabetes-related complications are necessary for control of symptoms and reversal of the disease. Further research on the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus in this age group is indicated.