Double diabetes: an emerging disease in children and young adults

  • I C Anochie Endocrinology Unit, Department of Paediatrics, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt
  • C N Unachukwu


Background: Studies in most countries have shown an increasing incidence of diabetes mellitus in children and young adults. Double diabetes is a newly recognized problem in children with different diagnostic and therapeutic measures. Methods: A review of over 30 literature obtained from Google, PUBMED search and journal publications on “double diabetes” was done to determine the incidence, pathophysiology, pathogenesis, diagnostic criteria, treatment and prevention of double diabetes in children and young adults. Results: Most of the reports on double diabetes were from western countries and Asia. Type 1 diabetes resulting from antibodies to the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cell was more prevalent in children. However, with increasing obesity the incidence of type 2 diabetes resulting from insulin resistance was high in children and young adults. Most patients with double diabetes were established type 1 diabetics, who while on insulin and on hypercaloric diet developed obesity especially during puberty and hence associated type 2 diabetes. The incidence was more in black than in white children. They presented with some clinical and laboratory features of both types 1 and 2 diabetes. Some authors advocated treatment with both insulin and oral hypoglycaemic drugs mainly metformin to improve insulin sensitivity. Prevention of childhood obesity by encouraging physical activities and dietary control would prevent double diabetes. Conclusion: Double diabetes is increasing in children and young adults. A high index of suspicion is required in obese children with diabetes.

Keywords: Double diabetes, Emerging problem, Children, Young adults

Port Harcourt Medical Journal Vol. 1 (2) 2007: pp. 76-80

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0795-3038