Much is written about how difficult it is to deal with diabetes during adolescence, and rightly so. Less is understood as to how puberty may be an accelerator of vascular complications. With the increase in childhood diabetes, complication risks need to be revisited in relation to puberty and the secular increase in adiposity. Recent data suggest greater risk for severe vascular complications in those with diabetes during puberty, compared with young people who develop diabetes after puberty. It is also widely recognized that higher hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) results are often seen during the pubertal period. This article will review complication outcomes in relation to puberty and examine mechanisms by which puberty may modify risk above glycemic exposure, and possible gender disparities in the risk of complications in the adolescent period.
Keywords: adolescent diabetes; androgens; insulin resistance; puberty; vascular complications.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.