Prevalence of Diabetes in U.S. Youth in 2009: The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study

  1. for the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study Group
  1. 1Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, Santa Barbara, CA
  2. 2Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO
  4. 4Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
  5. 5Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena, CA
  6. 6Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
  7. 7National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
  8. 8Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  9. 9Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  10. 10Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  11. 11Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
  1. Corresponding author: David J. Pettitt, dpettitt{at}


OBJECTIVE To estimate the prevalence of diabetes in U.S. youth aged <20 years in 2009 and to estimate the total number of youth with diabetes in the U.S. by age, race/ethnicity, and diabetes type.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS To address one of its primary aims, the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study identified youth aged <20 years on 31 December 2009 with physician-diagnosed diabetes in selected areas of Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington, among health plan members of Kaiser Permanente Southern California and among American Indians living on reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. Diabetes was classified as type 1, type 2, or other. Race/ethnicity was by self-report.

RESULTS From a population of 3,458,974 youth aged <20 years, 7,695 youth with diabetes were identified (2.22/1,000): 6,668 with type 1 diabetes (1.93/1,000), 837 with type 2 diabetes (0.24/1,000), and 190 (0.05/1,000) with other diabetes types. Prevalence increased with age, was slightly higher in females than males, and was most prevalent in non-Hispanic White and least prevalent in Asian/Pacific Islanders, with Native American and black youth having the highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes. An estimated 191,986 U.S. youth aged <20 years have diabetes; 166,984 type 1 diabetes, 20,262 type 2 diabetes, and 4,740 other types.

CONCLUSIONS Diabetes, one of the leading chronic diseases in childhood, affects >190,000 (1 of 433) youth aged <20 years in the U.S., with racial and ethnic disparities seen in diabetes prevalence, overall and by diabetes type.


  • This article contains Supplementary Data online at

  • A slide set summarizing this article is available online.

  • The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

  • Received August 3, 2013.
  • Accepted September 9, 2013.

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This Article

  1. Diabetes Care vol. 37 no. 2 402-408
  1. Supplementary Data
  2. Slide Set
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