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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2012 Oct;14 Suppl 3:40-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2012.01643.x.

Islet function in obese adolescents.

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Department of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine and Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Concurrent with the epidemic of childhood obesity, an unprecedented increase in the prevalence of several adiposity-related complications in this age group has emerged. In particular, type 2 diabetes (T2D), once considered an illness restricted to adulthood, is progressively affecting more and more adolescents, and represents now roughly 20-45% of new-onset cases in this age group. To unravel the pathogenesis of diabetes development during adolescence, many studies have focused on defining early defects in both insulin sensitivity and secretion that might be implicated in the natural history of the disease. Although a lot still need to be clarified, studies have shown that the progression from normal glucose tolerance to T2D involves intermediate stages of impaired fasting glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance, also known as prediabetes. Insulin resistance and β-cell dysfunction represent the two major key pathogenetic defects underlying the progression to diabetes in obese youth. In this review, we have sought to mainly describe the role of β-cell function in relation to the ambient insulin resistance in the development of T2D in obese adolescents.

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