HbA1c After a Short Period of Monotherapy With Metformin Identifies Durable Glycemic Control Among Adolescents With Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes Care. 2015 Dec;38(12):2285-92. doi: 10.2337/dc15-0848. Epub 2015 Nov 4.


Objective: To determine whether clinically accessible parameters early in the course of youth-onset type 2 diabetes predict likelihood of durable control on oral therapy.

Research design and methods: TODAY was a randomized clinical trial of adolescents with type 2 diabetes. Two groups, including participants from all three treatments, were defined for analysis: (1) those who remained in glycemic control for at least 48 months of follow-up and (2) those who lost glycemic control before 48 months. Outcome group was analyzed in univariate and multivariate models as a function of baseline characteristics (age, sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, BMI, waist circumference, Tanner stage, disease duration, depressive symptoms) and biochemical measures (HbA1c, C-peptide, lean and fat body mass, insulin inverse, insulinogenic index). Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to analyze HbA1c cut points.

Results: In multivariate models including factors significant in univariate analysis, only HbA1c and insulinogenic index at randomization remained significant (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0002, respectively). An HbA1c cutoff of 6.3% (45 mmol/mol) (positive likelihood ratio [PLR] 3.7) was identified that optimally distinguished the groups; sex-specific cutoffs were 6.3% (45 mmol/mol) for females (PLR 4.4) and 5.6% (38 mmol/mol) for males (PLR 2.1).

Conclusions: Identifying youth with type 2 diabetes at risk for rapid loss of glycemic control would allow more targeted therapy. HbA1c is a clinically accessible measure to identify high risk for loss of glycemic control on oral therapy. Adolescents with type 2 diabetes unable to attain a non-diabetes range HbA1c on metformin are at increased risk for rapid loss of glycemic control.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00081328.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Metformin / therapeutic use*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Metformin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00081328