Antipsychotics Linked to Diabetes in Kids
8/21/2013, 7:23 p.m.
This study focused on young people in the Tennessee Medicaid program so it did not look at any other states or countries.
There was potential for some participants to be misclassified as having type II diabetes, and for others to have their condition go undiagnosed. Study authors attempted to minimize the influence of such potential errors by matching antipsychotic users and controls at the beginning of the study period according to several factors, such as screening tests of glucose or diabetes.
The study authors could not directly control for obesity, which is also closely associated with type II diabetes. They say that many factors that they did control for would have indirectly addressed the issue, however.
Another caveat of the study is that it did not assess the risks of individual drugs. It is possible, the researchers acknowledge, that patients at risk of diabetes may have been prescribed drugs that doctors thought would be safer, metabolically speaking. The study was not able to establish this.
This study did not examine patients who had type II diabetes and whether the condition could be reversed, but Ray said there could be diabetes cases among users of psychotropic drugs in which it becomes a lifetime chronic disease.
"Before you’re going to expose a child to a medication that has many dangers –- not just the one we’ve uncovered, but many others –- you should think carefully about alternatives," Ray said. "My opinion is that only after you've tried those other things, should you then think about antipsychotics."
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