Diabetes in Navajo youth

Dana Dabelea, Joquetta Degroat, Carmelita Sorrelman, Martia Glass, Christopher A. Percy, Charlene Avery, Diana Hu, Ralph B. D'Agostino, Jennifer Beyer, Giuseppina Imperatore, Lisa Testaverde, Georgeanna Klingensmith, Richard F. Hamman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE - To estimate the prevalence and incidence of diabetes, clinical characteristics, and risk factors for chronic complications among Navajo youth, using data collected by the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study (SEARCH study). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - The SEARCH study identified all prevalent cases of diabetes in 2001 and all incident cases in 2002-2005 among Navajo youth. We estimated denominators with the user population for eligible health care facilities. Youth with diabetes also attended a research visit that included questionnaires, physical examination, blood and urine collection, and extended medical record abstraction. RESULTS - Diabetes is infrequent among Navajo youth aged <10 years. However, both prevalence and incidence of diabetes are high in older youth. Among adolescents aged 15-19 years, 1 in 359 Navajo youth had diabetes in 2001 and 1 in 2,542 developed diabetes annually. The vast majority of diabetes among Navajo youth with diabetes is type 2, although type 1 diabetes is also present, especially among younger children. Navajo youth with either diabetes type were likely to have poor glycemic control, high prevalence of unhealthy behaviors, and evidence of severely depressed mood. Youth with type 2 diabetes had more metabolic factors associated with obesity and insulin resistance (abdominal fat deposition, dyslipidemia, and higher albumin-to-creatinine ratio) than youth with type 1 diabetes. CONCLUSIONS - Our data provide evidence that diabetes is an important health problem for Navajo youth. Targeted efforts aimed at primary prevention of diabetes in Navajo youth and efforts to prevent or delay the development of chronic complications among those with iabetes are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S141-S147
JournalDiabetes care
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Diabetes in Navajo youth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this