How does the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) differ among different age groups?

Updated: Oct 23, 2019
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Type 2 diabetes mellitus occurs most commonly in adults aged 40 years or older, and the prevalence of the disease increases with advancing age. Indeed, the aging of the population is one reason that type 2 diabetes mellitus is becoming increasingly common. Virtually all cases of diabetes mellitus in older individuals are type 2.

In addition, however, the incidence of type 2 diabetes is increasing more rapidly in adolescents and young adults than in other age groups. The disease is being recognized increasingly in younger persons, particularly in highly susceptible racial and ethnic groups and the obese. In some areas, more type 2 than type 1 diabetes mellitus is being diagnosed in prepubertal children, teenagers, and young adults. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus by age is shown in the image below.

Prevalence of diabetes mellitus type 2 by age in t Prevalence of diabetes mellitus type 2 by age in the United States (2007 estimates).

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