Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, N.C.

My name is Ronny Bell. I'm a professor of epidemiology and prevention in the division of public health sciences at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I am also the director of the coordinating center for the Search for Diabetes in Youth study, which is a study of youth ages 0-19 in six areas across the United States -- in South Carolina, Ohio, Colorado, Southern California, Washington, Hawaii, and American Indian tribes in the Southwestern United States. The SEARCH study is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with support from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Some of our published findings from SEARCH include that the prevalence of diabetes among youth in this age group in 2001 was about 154,000 nationwide and (there were) higher rates of type 2 diabetes in ethnic minority youth. One of the interesting components of the SEARCH study is that we have representation from the five major racial and ethnic groups in the United States: non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, African-Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, American Indians -- and so we have well-documented rates of prevalence of diabetes as well as incidence of diabetes, which we indicate there are about 18-19,000 youth that are diagnosed with diabetes in the United States each year.


We hope that the SEARCH study will, as we move forward, will be able to document trends in the incidence of diabetes. We are gathering data; we have over 13,000 kids in these six centers who are participating in SEARCH and we hope to be able to look at trends in the incidence of diabetes and hope to be able to look at some of the ways in which diabetes is properly managed in youth in the United States.