Type 2 Diabetes Wreaks Havoc in Overweight Teens

Researchers emphasize prevention

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 30, 2012 1:33 PM CDT

(Newser) – Type 2 diabetes poses a particular problem for overweight teens, a study finds: Among hundreds of recently-diagnosed teenagers, almost half lost control of their blood sugar within a few years. Moreover, about one in five experienced serious complications from the illness. With a third of American kids and teens overweight or obese—thus facing a higher risk of diabetes—the results have researchers worried, the AP reports. It's the biggest study of teen diabetes thus far.

Researchers divided subjects into three groups: One took just the pill metformin, which lowers blood sugar; the second took the pill and received diet and exercise guidance; the third took metformin as well as Avandia. About half of each of the first two groups lost control of their blood sugar, while the Avandia group saw slightly better results. But doctors warn against that approach because Avandia is associated with higher heart attack risk among adults. In the end, "a single pill or single approach is not going to get the job done," says a study leader. Researchers' best advice so far? "Don't get diabetes in the first place."

For teenagers, diabetes is particularly difficult to manage, a study suggests.
For teenagers, diabetes is particularly difficult to manage, a study suggests.   (Shutterstock)
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