Aims To estimate the incidence of type 2 diabetes in children under 17 years of age in the UK and Republic of Ireland and characterise the clinical features and co-morbidities present at diagnosis. In 2005, the incidence in the UK of type 2 diabetes in children under 17 years of age was 0.53/100,000/year.
Methods Using the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit reporting framework, cases of type 2 diabetes diagnosed in children under 17 years of age in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 1st April 2015 and 30th April 2016 were reported each month.
Results One hundred and five cases of type 2 diabetes were identified, giving a UK incidence of 0.72/100,000/year(95% CI 0.58–0.88). Children from ethnic minorities had a significantly higher incidence of type 2 diabetes compared with white children (0.43/ 100,000/year) with incidences of 2.92/100,000/year (~sevenfold) and 1.67/100,000/year (~four-fold), in Asian and Black children respectively. Sixty-six percent of cases were female and 81% had a family history of type 2 diabetes. Thirty-four percent were asymptomatic at diagnosis. Fifty-three percent had osmotic symptoms of diabetes (polyuria, polydipsia, weight loss), 18% had recurrent infections with vulvo-vaginitis frequently reported. Thirty-seven percent had fatty liver disease and 21% were hypertensive at diagnosis.
Conclusions Type 2 diabetes is relatively rare in the UK but the incidence is rising when compared with the last 2004/5 BPSU survey. Children from ethnic minorities are significantly over represented compared with white children. Female sex, obesity and family history are strongly associated with the type 2 diabetes in this age group.