Predictors of glycemic control in children with type 1 diabetes: the importance of race

J Diabetes Complications. Mar-Apr 2000;14(2):71-7. doi: 10.1016/s1056-8727(00)00072-6.


Diabetes is a common cause of kidney failure and blindness among young adults, particularly of African-American descent. Since glycemic control is a predictor of diabetes complications, we evaluated the impact of multiple factors including a special multidisciplinary management program on glycosylated hemoglobin in children with Type 1 diabetes. Data was collected from pediatric diabetes clinics in New Orleans, LA and Baltimore, MD. In New Orleans, hemoglobin A(1c) was higher in African-American patients 12. 5+/-3.3% (n=71) vs. 10.7+/-2.1% (n=80) in Caucasian children, p<0. 0001. Longer duration of diabetes was also associated with higher hemoglobin A(1c) in both races. The effect of race on hemoglobin A(1c) was independent of the influence of sex, insurance status, body mass index (BMI) z-score, and number of clinic visits. Covariate analysis with mean blood glucose levels indicated that higher hemoglobin A(1c) was attributable to higher mean blood glucose levels in African-American children. From the Baltimore data, a multidisciplinary intervention program led to improved total glycosylated hemoglobin for Caucasian patients but not for African-American children. Poorer glycemic control of African-American children is likely to predispose them to a higher likelihood of developing microvascular complications as they mature. Standard hospital-based multidisciplinary programming for diabetes management may have limited effectiveness in improving glycemic control of African-American children with diabetes. Innovative intervention programs are needed for these high-risk patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • African Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Baltimore
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Louisiana
  • Male


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Insulin