Management of type 2 diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents

Pediatrics. 2013 Feb;131(2):e648-64. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-3496. Epub 2013 Jan 28.


Objective: Over the last 3 decades, the prevalence of childhood obesity has increased dramatically in North America, ushering in a variety of health problems, including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), which previously was not typically seen until much later in life. This technical report describes, in detail, the procedures undertaken to develop the recommendations given in the accompanying clinical practice guideline, "Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Children and Adolescents," and provides in-depth information about the rationale for the recommendations and the studies used to make the clinical practice guideline's recommendations.

Methods: A primary literature search was conducted relating to the treatment of T2DM in children and adolescents, and a secondary literature search was conducted relating to the screening and treatment of T2DM's comorbidities in children and adolescents. Inclusion criteria were prospectively and unanimously agreed on by members of the committee. An article was eligible for inclusion if it addressed treatment (primary search) or 1 of 4 comorbidities (secondary search) of T2DM, was published in 1990 or later, was written in English, and included an abstract. Only primary research inquiries were considered; review articles were considered if they included primary data or opinion. The research population had to constitute children and/or adolescents with an existing diagnosis of T2DM; studies of adult patients were considered if at least 10% of the study population was younger than 35 years. All retrieved titles, abstracts, and articles were reviewed by the consulting epidemiologist.

Results: Thousands of articles were retrieved and considered in both searches on the basis of the aforementioned criteria. From those, in the primary search, 199 abstracts were identified for possible inclusion, 58 of which were retained for systematic review. Five of these studies were classified as grade A studies, 1 as grade B, 20 as grade C, and 32 as grade D. Articles regarding treatment of T2DM selected for inclusion were divided into 4 major subcategories on the basis of type of treatment being discussed: (1) medical treatments (32 studies); (2) nonmedical treatments (9 studies); (3) provider behaviors (8 studies); and (4) social issues (9 studies). From the secondary search, an additional 336 abstracts relating to comorbidities were identified for possible inclusion, of which 26 were retained for systematic review. These articles included the following: 1 systematic review of literature regarding comorbidities of T2DM in adolescents; 5 expert opinions presenting global recommendations not based on evidence; 5 cohort studies reporting natural history of disease and comorbidities; 3 with specific attention to comorbidity patterns in specific ethnic groups (case-control, cohort, and clinical report using adult literature); 3 reporting an association between microalbuminuria and retinopathy (2 case-control, 1 cohort); 3 reporting the prevalence of nephropathy (cohort); 1 reporting peripheral vascular disease (case series); 2 discussing retinopathy (1 case-control, 1 position statement); and 3 addressing hyperlipidemia (American Heart Association position statement on cardiovascular risks; American Diabetes Association consensus statement; case series). A breakdown of grade of recommendation shows no grade A studies, 10 grade B studies, 6 grade C studies, and 10 grade D studies. With regard to screening and treatment recommendations for comorbidities, data in children are scarce, and the available literature is conflicting. Therapeutic recommendations for hypertension, dyslipidemia, retinopathy, microalbuminuria, and depression were summarized from expert guideline documents and are presented in detail in the guideline. The references are provided, but the committee did not independently assess the supporting evidence. Screening tools are provided in the Supplemental Information.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Diabetes Complications / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Complications / therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Expert Testimony
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Overweight / complications
  • Overweight / therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

Supplementary concepts

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Noninsulin-Dependent, 2