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Type 2 diabetes in children:
prevention is a priority

Type 2 diabetes is currently on the increase in children and adolescents in rich countries, in parallel with the rise in obesity. The treatment of this serious disease is poorly evaluated in children. Prevention is a priority.

In Europe, type 2 diabetes rarely occurs in childhood, but it is currently on the rise, in parallel with an increase in obesity in general, and in adolescents in particular.

Obesity, frequently associated with type 2 diabetes in adolescents, is a risk factor for arterial hypertension and lipid metabolism disorders.

The basic treatment is an appropriate diet and regular physical exercise. If these measures fail or are not sufficiently effective, treatment with an antidiabetic drug is also warranted, even though these have not been thoroughly evaluated for children.

Insulin is the first choice drug in situations requiring a rapid control of hyperglycaemia. In other situations, orally administered metformin can be used in addition to, or even instead of insulin.

©Prescrire December 2006

Source: "Diabète de type 2 chez les enfants : un traitement mal évalué" Rev Prescrire 2006 ; 26 (278) : 845-847.

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