Conference Coverage

Type 2 diabetes is particularly devastating in adolescents




Serious eye problems were common, with notable progression seen in diabetic retinopathy in patients who had fundus photos taken in 2011 (TODAY) and 2018 (TODAY2). Among the patients, 86% and 51%, respectively, of 371 patients had no definitive diabetic retinopathy; 14% and 22% of patients had very mild nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR); and 0% and 16% of patients had mild NPDR. None of the TODAY patients had early or high-risk proliferative diabetic retinopathy, compared with 3% and 1%, respectively, in TODAY2. Risk factors included loss of glycemic control (hazard ratio, 19.23; 95% confidence interval, 4.62-80.07).

None of the TODAY patients had macular edema, whereas it occurred in 4% of TODAY2 patients. In all, there were 142 adjudicated eye-related events reported for 92 patients, for an event rate of 15.5/1,000 patients per year. The events included NPDR, proliferative diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, cataracts, glaucoma, and vitreous hemorrhage).


The prevalence of diabetic neuropathy also increased over the duration of follow-up, rising to 28%-33% based on Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument scores. There were 14 adjudicated events reported for 12 patients (2.4 events/1,000 patients per year), including peripheral diabetic neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, and diabetic mononeuropathy.

“We’ve had a number of amputations; quite a number of toes are now missing in this group of kids,” Dr. Zeitler said.

There have been five deaths so far: one heart attack, one renal failure, one overwhelming sepsis, one postop cardiac arrest, and a drug overdose.

Dr. Zeitler was the senior author on 2018 updated ADA guidelines for managing youth-onset type 2 diabetes. The recommendations where extensively shaped by the TODAY findings and were more aggressive than those previously put forward, suggesting, among other things, hemoglobin A1c targets of 6.5%-7%; earlier treatment with insulin; and stricter management of hypertension, dyslipidemia, and proteinuria (Diabetes Care. 2018;41[12]:2648-68).

The National Institute of Diabetes & Kidney disease funded the studies. The presenters reported no relevant disclosures or conflicts of interest.


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