Aim/hypothesis: To study the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia and the relationship between metabolic control, pubertal status and plasma lipoprotein levels in children with diabetes mellitus.
Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 126 subjects with type I diabetes followed at our institution. There were 57 boys and 69 girls (mean age: 13.4+/-3.4 yr; mean duration of diabetes: 7.3+/-2.1 yr), on whom fasting lipoprotein levels and pubertal status were determined. Mean glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) of the preceding year was used in the analysis. Cholesterol (CT) and triglyceride (TG) levels were transformed into standard deviations (SD) using age dependent normal values.
Results: 1) CT levels of DM children (mean level: +0.9+/-1.2 SD) are higher for both sexes and at each age. Sixteen percent of the cases had CT level > or =2 SD. Within the range of the HbA1c observed (9.1+/-1.2%), CT levels are not correlated with the degree of metabolic control. In contrast to non-diabetic children, CT levels of the diabetic children did not vary throughout pubertal stages. CT levels correlated highly with apolipoprotein B (r=0.79; p<0.00001 and r(2)=82%, in univariate and multivariate analysis, respectively. 2) Plasma TG levels are comparable in the diabetic children (mean level: -0.11+/-0.9 SD) and non-diabetic children. Only 5% of the diabetic children have a TG level > or =2 SD. The TG levels are significantly, but weakly, positively correlated with duration of diabetes and the degree of metabolic control (r(2)=12% and 16%, respectively, p<0.0001 for both).
Conclusions: Plasma CT levels of type I diabetic children are increased in comparison to non-diabetic children and do not follow the usual decreasing pattern during puberty.