Aust Fam Physician 2016 Jun;45(6):401-6
Background: The incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in children and adolescents is increasing, mirroring the epidemic of paediatric obesity. Early-onset T2DM is associated with poor long-term outcomes.
Objective: In this article, we describe the growing problem of early-onset T2DM in Australia, explore the difference between early-onset and adult-onset T2DM, and review the management of T2DM in children and adolescents.
Discussion: T2DM is difficult to differentiate from the more common type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in the paediatric population. Risk factors for T2DM include obesity, ethnicity and family history, and adolescence is a predisposing time for the development of T2DM due to physiological insulin resistance. Early-onset T2DM is more associated with shorter duration to insulin requirement, development of diabetic complications and cardiovascular disease than adult-onset T2DM and T1DM. The main goals in management include normalising hyperglycaemia, facilitating lifestyle modifications and managing diabetes-related and obesity-related comorbidities.
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