Saint Louis University

A multi-center, NIH-funded study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on April 29, 2012 found that a combination of two diabetes drugs, metformin and rosiglitazone, was more effective than metformin alone in treating adolescents with type 2 diabetes.

Sherida Tollefsen, M.D., is pictured with research team members Theresa Whelan, Bonnie Wolff, and Silvia Carnes. Not pictured is co-investigator David Dempsher, M.D.  

The TODAY (Treatment Options for type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth) study at Saint Louis University was led by Sherida Tollefsen, M.D., professor of pediatrics and director of the division of pediatric endocrinology at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center.

"The recent rise in childhood obesity has been accompanied by an increased incidence of pediatric type 2 diabetes," Tollefsen said. "The TODAY study is the first major treatment efficacy trial in adolescents with recent-onset type 2 diabetes."

The study enrolled 699 youth aged 10-17 who had type 2 diabetes for less than two years. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: metformin alone, metformin and rosiglitazone, or metformin combined with a lifestyle-intervention program focusing on weight loss through changing eating and activity behaviors. Of the three treatments, metformin combined with rosiglitazone was most effective.

"These results are significant because they suggest that the failure rate with metformin alone is higher than that in adults," Tollefsen said. "Most youth with type 2 diabetes will require multiple oral agents or insulin therapy within a few years after diagnosis to achieve the control needed to prevent complications."

To read more about this study, visit: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/apr2012/niddk-29.htm