Arch Dis Child 89:526-529 doi:10.1136/adc.2003.027821
  • Community child health, public health, and epidemiology

First UK survey of paediatric type 2 diabetes and MODY

  1. S Ehtisham1,
  2. A T Hattersley2,
  3. D B Dunger3,
  4. T G Barrett1,
  5. for the British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Clinical Trials Group
  1. 1Academic Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
  2. 2Diabetes and Vascular Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Barrack Road, Exeter EX2 5AX, UK
  3. 3University of Cambridge Department of Paediatrics, Box 116 Level 8, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr T G Barrett
    Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham B4 6NH, UK;
  • Accepted 5 May 2003


Aims: To estimate the UK prevalence of childhood type 2 diabetes and maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY), and distinguish them from each other and from type 1 diabetes.

Methods: The British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Clinical Trials/Audit Group undertook a cross-sectional questionnaire survey of all paediatric diabetes centres during 2000, collecting data on all children with non-type 1 diabetes.

Results: Of 112 children reported to the survey, 25 had type 2 diabetes and 20 had MODY. In contrast to type 1, type 2 patients presented later (12.8 v 9.3 years), were usually female, overweight, or obese (92% v 28%), and a greater proportion were of ethnic minority origin (56% v 22%). In contrast to type 2, MODY patients were younger (10.8 years), less likely to be overweight or obese (50% v 92%), and none were from ethnic minority groups. The crude minimum UK prevalence of type 2 diabetes under 16 years is 0.21/100 000, and of MODY is 0.17/100 000. South Asian children have a relative risk of type 2 diabetes of 13.7 compared to white UK children.

Conclusions: UK children still have a low prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Children from ethnic minorities are at significantly higher risk, but in white UK children with non-type 1 diabetes a diagnosis of MODY is as likely as type 2 diabetes. Childhood type 2 diabetes is characterised by insulin resistance, and is distinct from both type 1 and MODY.


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