Identifying Children at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes in Underserved Communities

University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Pharmacy, Madison, WI 53705, USA.
The Diabetes Educator (Impact Factor: 1.79). 05/2011; 37(4):519-27. DOI: 10.1177/0145721711406139
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to identify and assess health behaviors among ethnic minority children at high risk for type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes screenings were conducted at community centers, churches, and local neighborhood health fairs in Madison, Wisconsin. During these events, diabetes risk assessment surveys were given to parents of children between the ages of 10 to 19 years. Parents who identified their children as having 2 or more risk factors for type 2 diabetes were invited to have their child screened for type 2 diabetes.
A total of 86 children between the ages of 10 to 19 years (mean age = 13; 58% male) were screened for diabetes. Fifty-one percent of the children were overweight or obese with 38% having >3 risk factors for type 2 diabetes. While there was no significant difference in the nutritional habits reported between normal, overweight, or obese children, fewer overweight and obese children reported exercising at least 30 minutes 5 to 7 days a week compared to children with a normal weight (P = .033).
Prevention of diabetes is a powerful public health intervention. Targeted diabetes screening in disadvantaged, underserved communities is an effective way to identify families with children at risk for type 2 diabetes. In addition, information obtained from these screenings can assist researchers and clinicians in designing accessible and affordable health promotion interventions that are culturally relevant to the youth and families within the community.

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