Type 1 diabetes mellitus and Down's syndrome: prevalence, management and diabetic complications

Diabet Med. 1998 Feb;15(2):160-3. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9136(199802)15:2<160::AID-DIA537>3.0.CO;2-J.


Type 1 insulin-dependent, diabetes mellitus (Type 1 DM) is thought to be more prevalent in individuals with Down's syndrome. To ascertain the local prevalence of Type 1 DM in patients with Down's syndrome in a geographically defined area, the four diabetes clinics in Lothian were surveyed and 13 patients with Down's syndrome and Type 1 DM were identified. Using data from previous epidemiological surveys which determined the prevalence of Down's syndrome in the general population, the prevalence rate of Type 1 DM in patients with Down's syndrome was calculated to be between 1.4 and 10.6%, a prevalence considerably higher than in the general population. Although 7 (54%) of the Down's syndrome patients were treated with once daily administration of insulin, the mean HbA1c value of the group was similar to that observed in a control group of 39 age-, sex- and duration-matched Type 1 patients, all of whom were taking two or more injections of insulin daily. Glycaemic control was therefore of similar quality to matched Type 1 patients without Down's syndrome, despite the frequent use of simple insulin regimens, which may relate to the more stable lifestyle of these patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology*
  • Down Syndrome / complications*
  • Down Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol