Publication Date

Spring 2015


School of Nursing


Nursing (B.S.N.)


Type II Diabetes, childhood diabetes, risks


Medicine and Health Sciences | Pediatric Nursing


Type II Diabetes Mellitus is an endocrine disorder that affects people of all ages. Type II Diabetes was once considered adult-onset diabetes, as it was nearly exclusively diagnosed in adults. Over the last three decades, the number of children diagnosed with Type II Diabetes has greatly increased. This rapid increase in childhood Type II Diabetes has prompted researchers to investigate why the epidemic exists and what its life-long ramifications may be for those diagnosed. Childhood Type II Diabetes is a heterogeneous disorder, meaning it is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. The incidence of childhood Type II Diabetes can only be reduced by an alteration in environmental factors, which are called modifiable risk factors. These include obesity, exercise, diet, and breastfeeding in infancy. Due to the chronic nature of Type II Diabetes, individuals with the disorder are at significant risk for developing additional medical conditions, or co-morbidities. These include cardiac diseases, renal failure, and vision impairment. Due to the early onset of childhood Type II Diabetes, these co-morbidities are often pronounced and debilitating once the child has reached middle adulthood. To reduce lifelong complications, screening for Type II Diabetes should be initiated early in at-risk children.