A combination of two diabetes drugs, metformin and rosiglitazone, was more effective in treating youth with recent-onset type 2 diabetes than metformin alone, a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found. Adding an intensive lifestyle intervention to metformin provided no more benefit than metformin therapy alone. The study also found that metformin therapy alone was not an effective treatment for many of these youth. In fact, metformin had a much higher failure rate in study participants than has been reported in studies of adults treated with metformin alone. The Treatment Options for type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth (TODAY) study is the first major comparative effectiveness trial for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in young people. TODAY was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of NIH. Study results appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine on April 29, 2012. "The results of this study tell us it might be good to start with a more aggressive drug treatment approach in youth with type 2 diabetes," said Philip Zeitler, M.D., Ph.D., the TODAY study chair and a pediatric endocrinologist at Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora. "We are learning that type 2 diabetes is a more aggressive disease in youth than in adults and progresses more rapidly, which could be why metformin alone had a higher than expected failure rate." The TODAY study tested how well and for how long each of three treatment approaches controlled blood glucose levels in youth enrolled from ages 10 to 17 with type 2 diabetes.
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