Overweight teenagers warned about dangers of diabetes

Mon, 30 Apr 2012
A new study from the United States has warned overweight and obese teenagers about the problems of developing type 2 diabetes.

The research, reported in New England Journal of Medicine, focused on the different ways of controlling blood sugar by nearly 700 teenagers who had recently been diagnosed with diabetes. All the participants had their blood sugar normalised using metformin, before receiving a treatment to ensure they could maintain that control. This was either with metformin alone, or with metformin and the addition of advice on diet and exercise, or with metformin combined with another drug, Avandia.

By four years, around half of those taking metformin had failed to maintain their blood sugar levels, although the chances were only slightly better for patients taking the two drug treatments and about the same for the group having the lifestyle therapy. However, the report did point out that GPs wouldn't recommend the combination treatment due to the fact that Avandia has been associated with a greater risk of heart attacks in adults.

As well as the study finding that half of the teens had failed to properly manage their blood sugar after a few years, it showed that a fifth of those monitored had experienced serious complications, and stressed the difficulties involved in managing the condition.
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