COMMENTARY

Anne Peters: The Year in Diabetes

Anne L. Peters, MD; Mark Harmel, MPH

Disclosures

December 10, 2013

In This Article

Teen Diabetes Especially Problematic

The epidemic of teenagers diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is increasingly worrisome. As obesity rates have climbed, so has the incidence of type 2 diabetes.[9] What was a rare occurrence only 11 years ago is now becoming increasingly frequent and is considered the "most disturbing and worrisome aspect of the current diabetes epidemic," according to William T. Cefalu, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Care.[10]

The June issue of the journal gives additional details on the results of the TODAY study,[11] which shows that the disease is progressing faster in adolescents than in adults and is more resistant to treatment.[12] To make matters worse, after more than 20 years, the best approach to treating childhood type 2 diabetes remains largely unknown,[13] and we're still waiting for approval to use some of the new adult medications in this group.

There is no happy ending to this story. The most recent news is that developing young-onset type 2 diabetes is more lethal and is associated with more complications than developing type 1 diabetes at the same age.[14] There is a real need to put more effort into preventing the development of childhood obesity and diabetes and to find new ways to treat the cases that do develop.

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