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Keywords:

  • β-cell function;
  • insulin secretion;
  • youth type 2 diabetes

Objective

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 ± 1.0%] 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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.