Crisis in Care: Limited Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth

Until two decades ago, children and adolescents were automatically assumed to have insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes. However, type 2 diabetes emerged as a “new type” of childhood diabetes in the 1990s in association with the epidemic of childhood obesity. It quickly became apparent that this new pediatric disease disproportionally affected disadvantaged minority children and was associated with comorbidities that increased the risk of future cardiovascular disease.
After more than 20 years, the optimal approach to the treatment of childhood type 2 diabetes remains largely unknown. Besides insulin, metformin remains the only other antidiabetic medication that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for use in youth with type 2 diabetes. Glimepiride and rosiglitazone failed noninferiority tests versus metformin as initial monotherapy in company-sponsored clinical trials. While the primary study results of the randomized phase of the TODAY (Treatment Options for type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth) study showed that combination therapy with metformin plus rosiglitazone was more effective than metformin plus intensive lifestyle intervention and metformin alone (1), rosiglitazone will not be used with any frequency in young patients with type 2 diabetes because of concerns about the cardiovascular and other adverse effects of this class of medications. Once again, pediatric diabetes practitioners are left with just metformin and insulin for adolescents with type 2 diabetes.
Why haven’t glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists and dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors that have been approved for use in adults with type 2 diabetes been approved for the treatment of adolescents …

You can view more related articles to the TODAY study if you scroll down to bottom of the page at the above link.


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