Parental Characteristics Associated With Outcomes in Youth With Type 2 Diabetes: Results From the TODAY Clinical Trial

Diabetes Care. 2015 May;38(5):784-92. doi: 10.2337/dc14-2393. Epub 2015 Mar 17.


Objective: This study examined parental factors associated with outcomes of youth in the Treatment Options for type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth (TODAY) clinical trial.

Research design and methods: Of 699 youth with type 2 diabetes in the TODAY cohort, 623 (89.1%) had a parent participate and provide data at baseline, including weight, HbA1c, blood pressure, symptoms of depression, binge eating (BE), and medical history. Youth were followed 2-6.5 years. Data were analyzed using regression models and survival curve methods.

Results: Parental diabetes (43.6% of parents) was associated with higher baseline HbA1c (P < 0.0001) and failure of youths to maintain glycemic control on study treatment (53.6% vs. 38.2% failure rate among those without a diabetic parent, P = 0.0002). Parental hypertension (40.6% of parents) was associated with hypertension in youth during TODAY (40.4% vs. 27.4% of youth with and without parental hypertension had hypertension, P = 0.0008) and with higher youth baseline BMI z scores (P = 0.0038). Parents had a mean baseline BMI of 33.6 kg/m(2). Parental obesity (BMI >30 kg/m(2)) was associated with higher baseline BMI z scores in the youth (P < 0.0001). Depressive symptoms in parents (20.6% of parents) were related to youth depressive symptoms at baseline only (P = 0.0430); subclinical BE in parents was related to the presence of subclinical BE (P = 0.0354) and depressive symptoms (P = 0.0326) in youth throughout the study period.

Conclusions: Parental diabetes and hypertension were associated with lack of glycemic control, hypertension, and higher BMI z scores in youth. Further research is needed to better understand and address parental biological and behavioral factors to improve youth health outcomes.

Trial registration: NCT00081328.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / complications
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Weight
  • Depression / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications
  • Parents*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents

Supplementary concepts

  • Mason-Type Diabetes

Associated data


Grant support