Objective: To examine the current extent of the obesity problem in 2 large pediatric clinical registries in the US and Europe and to examine the hypotheses that increased body mass index (BMI) z-scores (BMIz) are associated with greater hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and increased frequency of severe hypoglycemia in youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D).
Study design: International (World Health Organization) and national (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents) BMI references were used to calculate BMIz in participants (age 2-<18 years and ≥ 1 year duration of T1D) enrolled in the T1D Exchange (n = 11,435) and the Diabetes Prospective Follow-up (n = 21,501). Associations between BMIz and HbA1c and severe hypoglycemia were assessed.
Results: Participants in both registries had median BMI values that were greater than international and their respective national reference values. BMIz was significantly greater in the T1D Exchange vs the Diabetes Prospective Follow-up (P < .001). After stratification by age-group, no differences in BMI between registries existed for children 2-5 years, but differences were confirmed for 6- to 9-, 10- to 13-, and 14- to 17-year age groups (all P < .001). Greater BMIz were significantly related to greater HbA1c levels and more frequent occurrence of severe hypoglycemia across the registries, although these associations may not be clinically relevant.
Conclusions: Excessive weight is a common problem in children with T1D in Germany and Austria and, especially, in the US. Our data suggest that obesity contributes to the challenges in achieving optimal glycemic control in children and adolescents with T1D.
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