Presentation and effectiveness of early treatment of type 2 diabetes in youth: lessons from the TODAY study

Pediatr Diabetes. 2016 May;17(3):212-21. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12264. Epub 2015 Feb 17.


Objective: The objectives were to (i) describe the characteristics of a large ethnically/racially and geographically diverse population of adolescents with recent-onset type 2 diabetes (T2D), and (ii) assess the effects of short-term diabetes education and treatment with metformin on clinical and biochemical parameters in this cohort.

Research design and methods: Descriptive characteristics were determined for subjects screened for Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth (TODAY) who met criteria for diagnosis of T2D (n = 1092). Changes in clinical and biochemical parameters were determined for those who completed at least 8 wk of the run-in phase of the trial, which included standardized diabetes education and treatment with metformin. Further analysis determined whether these changes differed according to the treatment at screening.

Main outcome measures: Demographic, biochemical measurements, and anthropometrics at screening and changes over 8 wk of run-in were the outcome measures.

Results: Subjects screened for TODAY had a median age of 14 yr and median hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) of 6.9% (52 mM/M), 2/3 were female, and ethnic/racial minorities were overrepresented. Dyslipidemia and hypertension were common comorbidities. During run-in, HbA1c, body mass index, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure significantly improved. Nearly all participants on insulin therapy at screening were able to attain target HbA1c following insulin discontinuation.

Conclusions: Treatment with metformin and diabetes education provided short-term improvements in glycemic control and cardiometabolic risk factors in a large adolescent T2D cohort. Nearly all insulin-treated youth could be successfully weaned off insulin with continued improvement in glycemic control.

Keywords: diabetes education; insulin therapy; metformin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Metformin / therapeutic use*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Metformin

Grant support