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Keywords:

  • endocrinology;
  • Indigenous Australian;
  • type 2 diabetes;
  • youth obesity

Abstract

Rates of type 2 diabetes are higher among Indigenous than non-Indigenous Australian children and adolescents. Presentation may be incidental, part of obesity investigation, symptomatic (polyuria and polydipsia) or in ketoacidosis. Investigation should include assessment of fasting insulin, c-peptide and autoantibodies, as well as assessment of diabetes complications and co-morbidities. Management is a challenge, particularly in a resource-limited setting. Management should involve the whole family and, in some cases, extended family, and community, local health-care providers are key, and a multidisciplinary team approach is essential. The primary initial intervention involves life-style change, but medications (oral and insulin) are frequently necessary. Screening of high-risk individuals is recommended. Waist circumference is a key component of risk assessment. Prevention strategies targeting children and adolescents from this high-risk population are urgently required.