Longitudinal Correlates of Health Risk Behaviors in Children and Adolescents with Type 2 Diabetes

J Pediatr. 2015 May;166(5):1258-1264.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.01.019. Epub 2015 Feb 20.


Objectives: To characterize, during a 2-year period, the proportion of youth with type 2 diabetes (T2D) enrolled in the Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth study that reported ever at least trying smoking cigarettes and/or drinking alcohol.

Study design: Longitudinal data were examined for participants with T2D ages 10-18 years at baseline. Youth psychosocial, parent/family, environmental, and biological correlates of trying health risk behaviors were tested via cross-sectional multivariate models at each time point. Longitudinal models were explored for selected factors.

Results: Data were obtained from the Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth study's ethnically diverse participants at baseline (N=644), 6-month (N=616), and 24-month (N=543) assessments. The percentage of youth ever trying only smoking remained stable at 4%; only drinking alcohol increased from 17% to 26%, and both smoking and drinking increased from 10% to 18% during the 2-year period. Factors related to trying health risk behaviors were older age, male sex, non-Hispanic white race-ethnicity, lower grades, more depressive symptoms, and stressful life events. Depressive symptoms, stressful life events, and body mass index Z-score (the latter with smoking only) were related to engagement in health risk behaviors over time.

Conclusions: Youth with T2D who are already at risk for health complications and who reported engaging in activities that further increase the likelihood of life-threatening morbidities were characterized. Although most correlates of trying these risk behaviors are nonmodifiable, intervention efforts may need to focus on potentially modifiable factors, such as depressive symptoms and lower grades.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Anthropometry
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Smoking
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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