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Study: Type 2 Diabetes in Children Harder to Treat

Fuse/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that Type 2 diabetes progresses more rapidly in children than in adults and is harder to treat.

The study, which was released Monday, found the usual oral medicine for Type 2 diabetes stopped working in about half of the young patients within a few years. Doctors also had to add daily shots of insulin to control their blood sugar. Researchers said that they were shocked by how poorly the oral drugs performed because they work much better in adults.

“It’s frightening how severe this metabolic disease is in children,” Dr. David M. Nathan, an author of the study and director of the diabetes center at Massachusetts General Hospital, told the New York Times. “It’s really got a hold on them, and it’s hard to turn around.”

While researchers say aggressive forms of treatment can lower the risks, doctors are still unclear as to why it is so much harder to control in children and teenagers. Researchers say rapid growth and intense hormonal changes are likely factors in how diabetes effects teens.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio