Globally, the proportion of new diagnoses of youth-onset diabetes represented by type 2 diabetes is increasing, and youth with type 2 diabetes commonly have complications and comorbidities, as well as a higher rate of mortality. In this review, we summarise what is known about the natural progression of youth-onset type 2 diabetes from published clinical trials and large-scale prospective epidemiological studies. It is important to note that the robust pathophysiological and treatment data specifically related to individuals with a diabetes onset at ≤20 years of age largely hails from the USA. Youth-onset type 2 diabetes is characterised by pathophysiological heterogeneity and inadequate glycaemic control, highlighting the need for new treatment approaches and innovative study designs in populations of varied genetic and cultural backgrounds.
Laura Pyle, Megan M Kelsey