Many people with type 1 diabetes missing treatment goals: study

June 10, 2012
Many people with type 1 diabetes missing treatment goals: study
Blood sugar control remains a challenge despite improvements in care.

(HealthDay) -- Many Americans with type 1 diabetes fail to meet their treatment targets, according to researchers who analyzed data from a newly created registry that includes more than 25,000 patients at 67 clinics nationwide.

The examination of data from the T1D Exchange Clinic Registry also found that many are overweight or obese and that many young patients have difficulty reaching target hemoglobin A1C levels, even under the best of circumstances. A1C level is a measurement of over a period of several months.

The findings from five separate analyses were presented Saturday at an (ADA) meeting.

In , the body does not produce insulin, a hormone that breaks down sugar and starch from food. People with this type of diabetes need to take regular insulin treatments. It's usually diagnosed in children and , and occurs in about 5 percent of all diabetes cases, according to the ADA.

Despite advances in , the data revealed that most people with type 1 diabetes in the United States still fail to meet treatment targets established by the association. The researchers found that a majority of adults with type 1 diabetes were overweight or obese with in the elevated range (an A1C averaging from 7.5 percent to 8 percent).

(over age 50) had the lowest average A1C of all age groups (7.6 percent), but they also had a high percentage -- 14 percent to 20 percent per year -- of severe hypoglycemia ().

Hypoglycemia can be a side effect of many diabetes treatments. If not treated quickly, severe hypoglycemia can lead to seizure, coma and emergency department visits.

Among the other findings:


  • Twenty percent to 30 percent of patients over age 40 have diabetes-related complications.

  • The A1C average was 8.3 percent for those under age 12 and 8.7 percent for those aged 13-17.

  • Blacks had higher average A1C levels than whites.

  • In both youngsters and adults, lower A1C levels were associated with more frequent self-monitoring of blood sugar levels, less insulin resistance and greater use of newer technologies such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring.

  • In adults, lower A1C levels were also associated with being marred and higher income. In youth, lower A1C levels were also associated with younger age, being white and having parents with a higher income, education and private health insurance.

"This is the first time we've ever been able to get a really clear picture of how people with type 1 diabetes are faring in the United States," Dr. Richard Bergenstal, executive director of the International Diabetes Center and vice chair of the T1D Exchange, said in an ADA news release.

"Now we finally have large enough numbers of patients collecting common data to know where we are getting it right and where we need to target our efforts for improvement in treatment and care," he added.

Because this research was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Explore further: Room for improvement in knowledge of ABC levels, goals

More information: The Nemours Foundation has more about type 1 diabetes.


Related Stories

Room for improvement in knowledge of ABC levels, goals

April 19, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Many individuals with diabetes do not know their last hemoglobin A1C (A1C), blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels (ABC levels), although the correlation between such knowledge ...

Elderly diabetes patients with very low glucose levels have slightly increased risk of death

April 18, 2011
A new study of older diabetes patients has found that well-controlled blood sugar levels were associated with a lower risk of major complications such as heart attacks, amputation and kidney disease, but the very lowest blood ...

Diabetes groups issue new guidelines on blood sugar

April 19, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Type 2 diabetes is a complex metabolic disorder, and treating the disease often requires a personalized, multi-pronged approach, say new expert guidelines on treating high blood sugar levels, issued Thursday.

2 tests better than 1 to diagnose diabetes in overweight children

May 2, 2011
A new study found that the recommended blood test may not be enough to catch type 2 diabetes in overweight children, missing more than two-thirds of children at high-risk for the condition. Researchers from Children's Mercy ...

New NIH fact sheet explains test for diabetes, prediabetes

January 27, 2012
A new fact sheet from the National Institutes of Health explains the A1C test, a widely used and important test to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, and to monitor blood glucose levels of people with type 1 and type ...

Recommended for you

Controlling diabetes with your phone might be possible someday

November 21, 2017
Think about this. You have diabetes, are trying to control your insulin levels and instead of taking a pill or giving yourself an injection, you click an app on your phone that tells your pancreas to bring blood sugar levels ...

Insulin pill may delay type 1 diabetes in some

November 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—It's often said that timing is everything. New research suggests this may be true when giving an insulin pill to try to prevent or delay type 1 diabetes.

Simple test predicts diabetes remission following weight loss surgery

November 21, 2017
A new simple test that helps predicts which people with type 2 diabetes will benefit most from weight loss surgery has been developed by a UCL-led team.

Pre-diabetes discovery marks step towards precision medicine

November 20, 2017
Researchers from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre have identified three specific molecules that accurately indicate insulin resistance, or pre-diabetes - a major predictor of metabolic syndrome, the collection ...

Scientists reverse diabetes in a mouse model using modified blood stem cells

November 15, 2017
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have successfully reversed type 1 diabetes in a mouse model by infusing blood stem cells pre-treated to produce more of a protein called PD-L1, which is deficient in mice (and people) ...

Pregnancy-related conditions taken together leave moms—and dads—at risk

November 14, 2017
Research has already shown that women who develop either diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease years later. Now, a new study from a team ...

0 comments

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.