Early and aggressive drug treatment does not slow progression of type 2 diabetes in obese children, researchers say.
The new study included 91 obese diabetes patients aged 10 to 19, who were divided into two groups. One group took a long-lasting insulin called glargine for three months, followed by nine months of the diabetes drug metformin. The other group took only metformin for 12 months.
The study participants were then monitored for three months after treatment ended.
In both groups, the body’s ability to make and release insulin declined during treatment and got worse after it ended, according to the researchers at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
“I am not entirely surprised with the outcome of [the study], not only because the disease appears to be more severe in youth, but because its pathogenetic mechanisms also are worse even in the stage of prediabetes,” principal investigator Dr. Silva Arslanian said in a hospital news release.
Arslanian is a pediatric endocrinologist and diabetologist at the Center for Pediatric Research in Obesity and Metabolism.
The report was published online June 25 in the journal Diabetes Care. The findings were also presented this week at an American Diabetes Association meeting in Orlando, Fla.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines how to prevent type 2 diabetes in children.