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Medscape J Med. 2008;10(8):184; quiz 184. Epub 2008 Aug 6.

Diabetes screening, diagnosis, and therapy in pediatric patients with type 2 diabetes.

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AACE Diabetes Mellitus Clinical Practice Guidelines Task Force, Rockville, Maryland, USA.


The dramatic rise in the incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the pediatric and adolescent populations has been associated with the ongoing epidemic of overweight, obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome seen in these age groups. Although the majority of pediatric patients diagnosed with diabetes are still classified as having type 1 diabetes, almost 50% of patients with diabetes in the pediatric age range (under 18 years) may have type 2 diabetes. Screening of high-risk patients for diabetes and prediabetes is important. Prompt diagnosis and accurate diabetes classification facilitate appropriate and timely treatment and may reduce the risk for complications. This is especially important in children because lifestyle interventions may be successful and the lifelong risk for complications is greatest. Treatment usually begins with dietary modification, weight loss, and a structured program of physical exercise. Oral antidiabetic agents are added when lifestyle intervention alone fails to maintain glycemic control. Given the natural history of type 2 diabetes, most if not all patients will eventually require insulin therapy. In those requiring insulin, improved glycemic control and reduced frequency of hypoglycemia can be achieved with insulin analogs. It is common to add insulin therapy to existing oral therapy only when oral agents no longer provide adequate glycemic control.

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