Insulin management and metabolic control of type 1 diabetes mellitus in childhood and adolescence in 18 countries
Insulin regimens and metabolic control in children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes mellitus were evaluated in a cross-sectional, non-population-based investigation, involving 22 paediatric departments, from 18 countries in Europe, Japan, and North America.
HbA1c was determined once and analysed centrally (normal range 4.4-6.3%, mean 5.4%). Year of birth, sex, duration of diabetes, height, body weight, number of daily insulin injections, types and doses of insulin were recorded.
Average HbA1c in children under 11 years was 8.3 +/- 1.3% (mean +/- SD) compared with 8.9 +/- 1.8% in those aged 12-18 years. The average insulin dose per kg body weight was almost constant (0.65 U kg(-1) 24 h(-1)) in children aged 2-9 years for both sexes, but there was a sharp increase during the pubertal years, particularly in girls.
The increase in BMI of children with diabetes was much faster during adolescence compared to healthy children, especially in females.
Sixty per cent of the children used two daily insulin injections
37% used three or more
37% used pre-mixed insulins, either alone or in combination with short- and intermediate-acting insulin
Pre-adolescent children on pre-mixed insulin showed similar HbA1c levels to those on a combination of short- and long-acting insulins, whereas in adolescents significantly better HbA1c values were achieved with individual combinations.
Among adolescent boys, lower HbA1c was related to use of more short-acting insulin. This association was not found in girls. We conclude that numerous insulin injection regimens are currently used in paediatric diabetes centres around the world, with an increasing tendency towards intensive diabetes management, particularly in older adolescents.