Objective: To compare glycemic control, body mass index (BMI), neurocognitive function, and parenting stress for preschool-aged diabetic children randomized to treatment either with continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) or with intensive insulin injection therapy (IIT).
Methods: Children <5 yr of age diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus for at least 12 months were randomized to either CSII (n = 21) or IIT (n = 21) for 6 months. After 6 months, the IIT group began CSII therapy and the CSII group continued on pumps. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and BMI percent were collected at baseline, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Neurocognitive assessments (Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration and Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition) were administered to children, and parenting and child behavior assessments (Parenting Stress Index and Child Behavior Checklist) were completed by parents and at baseline, 6, and 12 months.
Results: Thirty-five children completed the study. Mean HbA1c decreased significantly over the study period (8.9% +/- 0.6 vs. 8.5% +/- 0.7, p = 0.006). Initiation of CSII resulted in an HbA1c decrease of 0.4% after 3 months (p = 0.002); however, in the CSII first group, the HbA1c at 12 months was not significantly different from study start (8.8% +/- 0.6 vs. 8.5% +/- 0.6; p = 0.4). There were no significant changes in BMI%, neurocognitive, parenting, and child behavior measures between groups.
Conclusion: Initiation of CSII vs. continuing IIT does not significantly influence HbA1c, BMI, neurocognitive, or parenting stress parameters in a research study setting.