Teens with Type 2 diabetes, brought on by obesity, participated in the study, and in three of the treatment methods provided half of the participants weren’t able to keep their blood sugar under control.
The new research sends a strong warning to teens who are overweight: If you get diabetes, you will have trouble controlling it.
A major study, tested different ways of managing blood sugar in teens recently diagnosed with the disease and found that almost half of them, failed to manage their blood sugar within a couple of years, and 1 in 5 suffered serious problems.
The study, which was federally funded, looked at ways of treating diabetes in teenagers. Studies completed earlier, focused mainly on adults, and the majority of diabetes drugs aren’t approved for use by teens. The strong message is clear: Prevention is the key.
699 obese and overweight teens participated in the study, and all had recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. All of their blood sugar normalized with metformin – a pill that lowers blood sugar – then they were given one out of three treatments to maintain it: using the pill by itself, taking the pill together with diet and exercise counseling, or metformin and a second drug, Avandia.
After almost four years, half of the metformin group weren’t able to maintain control of their blood sugar. The group taking the two drugs together did a little better, but not much more than the teens in the lifestyle group.
One of the study leaders, Dr. PhilZeitler, of the University of Colorado says that the combination drug therapy should not be recommended for teens with Type 2 diabetes because Avandia has been associated with higher risk of heart attacks in adults – these risks became known after this study started.