Type 2 diabetes in adolescents and young adults

Nadia Lascar, James Brown, Helen Pattison, Anthony H. Barnett, Clifford J. Bailey, Srikanth Bellary*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in adolescents and young adults is dramatically increasing. Similar to older-onset type 2 diabetes, the major predisposing risk factors are obesity, family history, and sedentary lifestyle. Onset of diabetes at a younger age (defined here as up to age 40 years) is associated with longer disease exposure and increased risk for chronic complications. Young-onset type 2 diabetes also affects more individuals of working age, accentuating the adverse societal effects of the disease. Furthermore, evidence is accumulating that young-onset type 2 diabetes has a more aggressive disease phenotype, leading to premature development of complications, with adverse effects on quality of life and unfavourable effects on long-term outcomes, raising the possibility of a future public health catastrophe. In this Review, we describe the epidemiology and existing knowledge regarding pathophysiology, risk factors, complications, and management of type 2 diabetes in adolescents and young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalThe Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology
Issue number1
Early online date25 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/


  • Diabetes
  • Type 2


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