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

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


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.


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).


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.

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