Children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D), even those with intensive insulin treatment regimens, often have higher glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels than adults.
To delineate the medical and psychosocial factors associated with glycemic control in an unselected pediatric population with T1D.
We included a cross-section of 58 adolescents (28 boys and 30 girls) aged 13.6 ± 4.0 years with T1D ≥1 year attending a well-established pediatric diabetes clinic in Thailand. Median diabetes duration was 4.1 years (range 1–18 years). Participants were divided into 2 subgroups according to their average HbA1c level over the past year. Those with good control (HbA1c <8%) (n = 13) were compared with those with poor control (HbA1c ≥8%) (n = 45). Data collected from self-report standardized questionnaires and medical records were used to compare variables between groups.
Adolescents with good control used significantly less daily insulin and had higher family income, higher scores for family support, and quality of life (QoL) than those in the group with poor control (P < 0.05). Age, sex, puberty, duration of diabetes, insulin regimen, frequency of blood glucose monitoring, and self-report adherence did not differ between groups. By univariate logistic regression, the only factor associated significantly with poor glycemic control was a QoL score <25.
Adolescents with T1D may be at a higher risk of poor glycemic control if they have poor QoL, impaired family functioning, poor coping skills, and lower socioeconomic status, suggesting that psychosocial interventions could potentially improve glycemic control in this population.