Teens With Diabetes Might Need Help in Transition to Adulthood

April 6, 2010 By Valerie DeBenedette

It is hard enough being a teenager -- or the parent of a teenager -- without also having to deal with type 1 diabetes. Keeping good control can be a problem when the responsibility for administering insulin and checking blood glucose levels passes from parent to child.

A new study found that while conflict levels between teens with diabetes and their parents stayed steady during this shift in responsibilities, teens’ blood glucose levels were monitored less frequently and their levels of - a measure of how well blood glucose has been controlled over time - became worse.

The study, which followed 147 teenagers with diabetes over six months, appears online in the . Younger teenagers who took greater responsibility for their own care and who had more family conflict checked less often after six months.

However, the relative steadiness of markers for family conflict was a good thing, said Korey Hood, Ph.D., a study co-author. “We were expecting diabetes-related conflict to rise, but it didn’t,” said Hood, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

However, he said, the rise in A1c levels was typical of that seen during late adolescence and early adulthood: “What you tend to see as you look at large-scale clinical data is that A1c trends from the age of 12 or 13 steadily climb into young adulthood. And then it starts to decline in the mid-20s.”

“This transition from managing diabetes with the parents to independent management is a huge issue,” said Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., assistant vice president for glucose control research at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. As an adolescent with , he had experienced this transition firsthand.

Teenagers with diabetes go through the usual stresses and peer pressure of adolescence and might let management of their disease slide, Kowalski said, and this change in priorities in turn puts stress on the parents and on family dynamics.

The majority of teens in the study used pumps, which can administer a continuous amount of insulin, rather than insulin injections from syringes or pens. Hood and Kowalski said that pumps are becoming the more common method of insulin administration in children and people newly diagnosed with diabetes because they are easier to use.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is funding an initiative to improve insulin devices that monitor glucose levels continuously, Kowalski said, but he added that a recent study of these devices still found challenges with teen users: “It worked very well in adults and 8- to 12-year-olds, but 15- to 20-year-olds saw no glucose control benefit. What happened was that most teens would not wear them consistently.”

More information: Ingerski LM, et al. Blood glucose monitoring and glycemic control in adolescence: contribution of diabetes-specific responsibility and family conflict. J Adol Health online, 2010.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Finish your antibiotics course? Maybe not, experts say

July 27, 2017
British disease experts on Thursday suggested doing away with the "incorrect" advice to always finish a course of antibiotics, saying the approach was fuelling the spread of drug resistance.

Phase 3 trial confirms superiority of tocilizumab to steroids for giant cell arteritis

July 26, 2017
A phase 3 clinical trial has confirmed that regular treatment with tocilizumab, an inhibitor of interleukin-6, successfully reduced both symptoms of and the need for high-dose steroid treatment for giant cell arteritis, the ...

A large-scale 'germ trap' solution for hospitals

July 26, 2017
When an infectious airborne illness strikes, some hospitals use negative pressure rooms to isolate and treat patients. These rooms use ventilation controls to keep germ-filled air contained rather than letting it circulate ...

Researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B

July 25, 2017
Scientists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. ...

Male hepatitis B patients suffer worse liver ailments, regardless of lifestyle

July 25, 2017
Why men with hepatitis B remain more than twice as likely to develop severe liver disease than women remains a mystery, even after a study led by a recent Drexel University graduate took lifestyle choices and environments ...

Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients

July 25, 2017
Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

CaptChurch
not rated yet Apr 06, 2010
SUICIDE VACCINE is like CPR....you won't use it on yourself, but can
save somebody's life when the crisis begins because you now know how.~

Subject: ~RED ALERT**URGENT 2009 [CDC::"girl's suicide rate
'skyrockets' 76%".....WHAT is causing this?!? and, help STOP this!]~

{Re: CDC quote---76% 'skyrocket' rise is real danger
all across The Planet, [internet incited]
if girls commit suicide in an "epidemic",
like the 1986 youth suicide epidemic in Omaha, NE that SUICIDE
VACCINE stopped~}

This is NOT "religion", this is Reality, objective reality!

------->>WASHINGTON (AP)----"Using anti-depressants
Increases the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior
among young people"----
---[[CDC quote]]---->>>"Suicide rate among girls skyrockets 76%,
says Centers for
Disease Control & Prevention"
CaptChurch
not rated yet Apr 06, 2010
SUICIDE VACCINE on TeenAnswers
http://groups.goo...nAnswers
CaptChurch
not rated yet Apr 06, 2010
SUICIDE VACCINE on Yahoo group:
http://groups.yah...KnowBest
SUICIDE VACCINE on forum:
http://CaptainChu...ards.com

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.