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To better understand the pathophysiology and treatment of youth onset type 2 diabetes, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases launched the TODAY study in 2004. It showed that youth-onset type 2 diabetes is exceedingly difficult to manage. To conduct this randomized clinical trial, nearly 700 kids ages 10 to 17 were recruited to better understand how to treat the condition. In an observational follow-up study, TODAY2, the team continued to study participants from 2011 to 2020—to see whether they developed complications due to the disease.

60% of the participants displayed one complication, and nearly 30% had two complications. Sixty-seven percent had high blood pressure, 55% suffered from kidney disease, 51% had dyslipidemia, 32% experienced nerve complications, and 51% had retinal damage. At the end of the study, the average age of the participants was only 26, and the average time since their diagnoses was around 13 years. The research team published its findings in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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