The impact of physiological, therapeutic and psychosocial variables on glycemic control in youth with type 1 diabetes mellitus

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Nov;17(11):1533-44. doi: 10.1515/jpem.2004.17.11.1533.


Objective: Intensive management of type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM1) in youth is challenging. We evaluated the relative impact of variables related to DM1 among groups of pre/early pubertal, midpubertal and postpubertal youths with DM1.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study of 153 youth with DM1, we ascertained Tanner stage, insulin dose and delivery modality (CSII vs MDI), daily blood glucose monitoring (BGM) frequency, and most recent hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). We collected questionnaires from patients and their parents on diabetes-specific family conflict and family involvement in diabetes management tasks. We assessed predictors of glycemic control according to pubertal status.

Results: Insulin doses increased between pre/ early puberty and midpuberty (p <0.0001); daily BGM frequency (p = 0.02) and family involvement for DM management (p <0.001) were lowest in the postpubertal group. HbA1c was similar among all three puberty groups (8.4+/-1.4). Lower levels of child-reported DM-specific family conflict, more frequent BGM, and CSII use were significantly associated with lower HbA1c (R2 = 0.20, p <0.001).

Conclusion: Although glycemic control was not significantly worse in midpubertal and post-pubertal patients, family involvement for DM management and adherence to BGM were lower in late adolescence. Interventions to optimize glycemic control may include minimizing DM-specific conflict, increasing BGM frequency, and implementing CSII use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Family Relations
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Puberty / physiology
  • Sexual Maturation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin