Youth-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus: lessons learned from the TODAY study

Mayo Clin Proc. 2014 Jun;89(6):806-16. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2014.01.009. Epub 2014 Apr 3.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus is increasingly diagnosed in obese children and adolescents. Evidence suggests that this disease commonly progresses more rapidly in youth compared with adults and is associated with high rates of early microalbuminuria, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. The Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth (TODAY) study was the first multiethnic, multicenter randomized trial in the United States to compare 3 treatment approaches in obese youth with new-onset type 2 diabetes (n=699; ages 10-17 years): monotherapy with metformin, metformin with rosiglitazone, and metformin with an intensive lifestyle intervention. The primary outcome was glycemic control. Diabetes-related complications and cardiovascular risk factors were also examined. Approximately half of the participants could not maintain glycemic control by using metformin alone. Combination therapy with metformin and rosiglitazone resulted in better durability of glycemic control, and metformin plus intensive lifestyle intervention was intermediate but not superior to metformin alone. Deterioration in glycemic control was associated with rapid loss of beta cell function, not worsened insulin sensitivity, and could not be explained by differences in adherence or body mass index. After 3.9 years, 236 (33.8%) of participants had hypertension and 116 participants (16.6%) had microalbuminuria. Only 55.9% of participants had a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level less than 100 mg/dL (to convert to mmol/L, multiply by 0.0259) after 3 years, and 71 of 517 participants (13.7%) had retinopathy. The significance of the findings from this important trial for the management of youth and young adults with youth-onset type 2 diabetes and its complications is discussed. An aggressive multifaceted approach is needed to prevent or forestall premature microvascular and macrovascular complications in youth-onset type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Metformin / administration & dosage
  • Metformin / therapeutic use
  • Obesity / complications
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Thiazolidinediones / administration & dosage
  • Thiazolidinediones / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Metformin