According to a new study done by Lancet, black and hispanic kids have about a 50 percent chance of developing diabetes over the course of their lifetimes, and Americans overall have a 40 percent chance.
The study was done by epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and they used mortality data of 600,000 Americans from 1985 to 2011 to determine the risk that Americans face of developing type 1 or type 2 diabetes, categorized by race.
The results revealed a substantial difference in risk levels between races. Dr. Edward Gregg, the lead author of the study, said that researchers analyzed race because that was the data available, but “socioeconomic status is probably as important as race, if not more important.”
The study also revealed a rise in diabetes risk overall between 1985 and 2011. That increase was “the main thing that surprised us,” Gregg said. In 1985, American boys had a 21 percent chance of developing diabetes, and girls had a 27 percent risk. By 2011, that risk had jumped to 40 percent for both boys and girls. This risk was partly (and somewhat counterintuitively) due to the fact that people are living longer, meaning a person has more years during which he or she could develop diabetes.
On a positive note, children diagnosed with diabetes can now expect to live more than 70 years with the disease.