Progressive deterioration of β-cell function in obese youth with type 2 diabetes

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In adults, type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is characterized with progressive deterioration in insulin secretion. Data are scanty in youth. We investigated prospectively the change in β-cell function and in insulin sensitivity in youth with T2DM.

Research Design and Methods

Six adolescents with T2DM [hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) 6.6±0.0%] underwent evaluation of hepatic glucose production (HGP; [6,6-2H2] glucose), insulin-stimulated glucose disposal (Rd; hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp), first- and second-phase insulin/C-peptide secretion (hyperglycemic clamp), body composition dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), and abdominal adiposity (computed tomography) within 3 yr of the diagnosis of diabetes and after 12–16 months of follow-up.


Weight, body mass index (37.1±6.9), HbA1c (6.3±0.7%), HGP (2.8±1.2 mg/kg/min), and Rd (4.9±3.4 mg/kg/min) did not change significantly from baseline. However, first-phase insulin and C-peptide declined (152.6±261.2 vs. 75.9±108.5 μU/mL, p=0.028; 8.0±6.3 vs. 5.9±4.4 ng/mL, p=0.048, respectively) with no significant change in second-phase insulin/C-peptide. The rate of decline in β-cell function was ˜20% per year.


After a median duration of 20 months of diabetes, youth with T2DM manifest a rapid decline in β-cell function with no significant changes in peripheral or hepatic insulin sensitivity. Interventions to retard this deterioration in β-cell function should be investigated.

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