HealthDay News — Not all children with type 2 diabetes have obesity, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online in JAMA Network Open.

Milena Cioana, from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to examine the prevalence of obesity in children with type 2 diabetes.

Based on data from 53 articles (8942 participants) included in the meta-analysis, the overall prevalence of obesity among pediatric patients with type 2 diabetes was 75.27%, while the prevalence of obesity at diabetes diagnosis was 77.24%. Male participants had higher odds of obesity than female participants (odds ratio, 2.10). Compared with other racial groups, Asian participants had the lowest prevalence of obesity (64.50%) and White participants had the highest prevalence of obesity (89.86%).

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The findings suggest that obesity “is not a universal phenotype in children with type 2 diabetes” and that future research is needed to better understand the mechanisms behind the etiology of diabetes in the pediatric population, the study authors concluded.

“Understanding the causes of type 2 diabetes in children without obesity is crucial to define the etiology of their diabetes and to create effective management strategies for this cohort,” the authors wrote. “Further research is needed to evaluate the causes of sex- and race and ethnicity-based associations of diabetes with obesity and explore additional factors that may affect the risk of developing type 2 diabetes apart from obesity in children.”

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