In a special issue of the American Diabetes Association's Diabetes Care titled, “The Changing Face of the Type 2 Diabetes Epidemic,” six new papers and two accompanying editorials focus on the critically important NIH TODAY study (Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth). The publications document the phenomenon of type 2 diabetes in children and report that it was even more aggressive and harder to treat in kids than adults. The Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center coordinated the participation of 38 study participants.
The initial results of the TODAY study were first published in 2011 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study pointed to obesity as one of the reasons why we now see type 2 diabetes in youth when, 20 years ago, it was nearly nonexistent.
The six new study papers reflect the ongoing monitoring of the original 699 young people who have been participating in TODAY since 2004 when the study began recruiting 10 to 17-year-olds with type 2 diabetes. Among the many health problems highlighted in “Diabetes Care,” the new papers illustrate that an alarming number of kids with type 2 diabetes had cardiovascular risk factors when they entered the study, with a third developing hypertension by the end of the study. In addition, signs of renal disease almost tripled, and 14 percent of the participants developed signs of retinopathy during the course of the trial.
“These new reports include important additional analyses of the data from this critical study about a young and vulnerable population increasingly affected by type two diabetes,” said Robin Goland, MD, Co-Director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center and a member of the TODAY study research team:
As troubling as the results of the TODAY studies are, researchers and clinicians have come an enormous step closer to understanding and treating a disease that didn’t exist 20 years ago. “We have come a very long way in learning how to treat kids struggling with type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Goland, “In that respect, the TODAY study has been epic.”
Click here to read the new papers and editorials in “Diabetes Today.”