September 23, 2022
1 minute reading
de Vries SAG, et al. Summary #469. Presented at: European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting; September 19-23, 2022; Stockholm (hybrid meeting).
de Vries does not report any relevant financial disclosures. See the study for the relevant financial disclosures from all other authors.
Researchers observed sex differences in children with type 1 diabetes, according to a presenter at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
Among other things, girls with type 1 diabetes had higher HbA1c, BMI and insulin doses compared to boys.
“We noted that a younger age of disease onset increases risk and cardiovascular complications and is also associated with reduced life expectancy. This makes it very important to identify risk factors that are present in patients at an early age.” silvia AG van freeze, MSc, MD-PhD candidate at the Department of Vascular Medicine of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers, during a presentation. “We also know, like type 2 diabetes, that with type 1 diabetes there is a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and also death in adult women. But what we don’t know is whether sex affects care and outcomes in children.”
Researchers identified 90 observational studies from MEDLINE records through June 15, 2021, focusing on type 1 diabetes in children that identified gender differences. Studies included 30 with clinical patient profile data, 25 with glycemic control data, 14 with treatment data, 20 with complications data, 14 with co-morbidity data, and 15 with quality of life data.
In most studies, BMI, dyslipidemia, HbA1c, and insulin dose were all higher in girls across all age groups. Insulin pump therapy was used more often by girls than by boys. Researchers also saw a higher chance of a diabetic ketoacidosis diagnosis, hospitalization and lower quality of life scores in girls. However, boys experienced hypoglycemia and partial remission more often than girls.
According to de Vries, the reasons for these differences may be biological, including differences in pubertal hormones, body composition and fat distribution; psychological, including disease-related attitudes and behaviors; behavior, such as physical activity, diet, and presentation of symptoms; and the influence of the treatment team and the approach of the healthcare provider.
De Vries noted that the studies were observational in nature, focusing only on differences and not neutral outcomes, and that this study did not focus on deep reasoning for such differences.
“Gender differences were observed in pediatric type 1 diabetes care. There were female disadvantages in different outcomes in the mentioned categories,” said de Vries. “We strongly believe that identifying these differences is a very important first step and also to to be aware of the risks in young women.”