A new study in The New England Journal of Medicine, finds that Type 2 diabetes progresses quickly in children when compared to adults and it is more difficult to treat too. As reported in the New York Times, Dr. David M. Nathan, author of the study and Director, Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital said, ‘It’s really got a hold on them, and it’s hard to turn around.’
Type 2 diabetes, occurs due to genetic disposition to develop the disease in addition to being obese or have tendency to gain weight. Here pancreas makes insulin, hormone required for controlling blood sugar levels, but insulin produced is not enough or is not used properly. High blood pressure and cholesterol are other vices that come accompany this disease. Dietary changes, oral medicines, exercises are the initial mode of treatments and this is usually followed up with insulin supplementation. In the 1990s, doctors began noticing an increase in type 2 diabetes in children and teens.
The study aimed at finding the best treatment for type 2 diabetes in children.
- They followed 699 children from ages 10 to 17 for four years
- All participants were overweight or obese
- The children were divided into three groups
- All the children along with a parent or guardian were given diabetes education
- One group was administered metformin , a diabetic drug commonly called Glucophage
- Another group was administered metformin along with a drug called rosiglitazone or Avandia
- The third group was given metformin and went through intensive diet, exercise, and weight-loss program
The results of the study was disappointing since all the three groups showed high failure rates indicating that blood sugar levels could not be controlled in three groups. Group one had 52% failure while second group had 39% failure while the third group showed a 47% failure. Failure rates were high even in patients who followed the regimen strictly.
Researchers have come to the most obvious conclusion that type 2 diabetes in children need better treatments. They were surprised to note that the oral drugs that performed well in adults did not help the children.
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