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DIABETES IN CHILDREN

Diabetes in children accounts for only about 5–10% of all cases of diabetes; however, its incidence continues to increase worldwide and it has serious short-term and long-term implications. One of the most common pediatric endocrine disease, it affects nearly 500,000 children below the age of 15 years. Of these, over half live in developing nations, with India being home to an estimated 97,700 children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. The incidence of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitusis rising by 3% per annum, especially in younger children and in so-called “low-prevalence” countries.

This increase in incidence along with enhanced access to insulin and better survival rates will lead to a higher prevalence in the near future. Approximately 70,000 new children are diagnosed worldwide.Management of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitusis best undertaken in the context of a multidisciplinary health team like diabetologist/ pediatrician, psychologist, dietician diabetes nurse educator and social worker. The management of diabetes in children requires continuing attention to many aspects, including insulin administration, blood glucose monitoring, meal planning, and screening for comorbid conditions and diabetes-related complications. These complications consist of microvascular and macrovascular disease, which account for the major morbidity and mortality associated with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. Newer treatment approaches have facilitated improved outcomes in terms of both glycaemic control and reduced risks for development of complications. Nonetheless, major challenges remain in the development of approaches to the prevention and management of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitusand its complications.

As of today, the standard of care received by the vast majority of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus children in India is not adequate. Lack of access to insulin is a major issue in developing countries of Asia. The mortality & morbidity is very high in children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitusin Asia compared to children in the scadinavian countries. Early recognition, proper diabetes education regarding diabetes to parents, children and healthcare delivery staff and proper management of diabetes in children is essential to prevent complication of diabetes and achieve quality & quantity of life for these children which are as good as a normal child.

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