Experts see rise in pediatric diabetes during coronavirus pandemic

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Specialists at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood have seen what they call “disturbing data” over a rise in obesity and Type-2 diabetes among children during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Lital Reitblat said that 40% of children she has seen recently are being diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes compared with 16% a year ago.

Reitblat said the long term health risks for kids with Type-2 diabetes are even greater than for adults.

“Type-2 diabetes that develops in childhood is even more aggressive than the diabetes that develops for adults so those kids can have more complications later in life in a shorter period of time than an adult who has had diabetes for a longer period of time, they’ll have more complications of kidney issues they’ll have more of some of those things so we definitely want to prevent it than trying to fix it later on,” Reitblat said.

While weight loss and a change in diet can help younger patients get off insulin treatment, their bodies may need blood sugar-regulating medication for the rest of their lives.

And a new clinical trial suggests that adult patients who are no longer responding to metformin may have an alternative.

A clinical trial called Duration-8 investigated a combination of two newer drugs Exenatide and Dapagliflozin in patients whose blood glucose levels did not respond to metformin.

Researchers have found that the combo is safe and can be beneficial for up to two years.

In addition to stabilizing blood glucose levels, the drug combination was associated with lower blood pressure and body weight.

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