Complications of pediatric and adolescent type 1 diabetes mellitus

Brink SJ.

New England Diabetes and Endocrinology Center, 40 Second Avenue, Suite #170, Waltham, MA 02451-1136, USA.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is potentially associated with serious microvascular and macrovascular complications, although these are usually subclinical during the pediatric and adolescent years. There is no “grace” period for the beginnings of such complications. Duration of diabetes, glycemic control, age, and pubertal stage are critical factors contributing toward development of such problems. Other risk factors include family history (genetic predisposition), hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and smoking. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) proved the importance of glycemic control and emphasized the ability of improved glucose control to prevent or decrease retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy using a multidisciplinary same-philosophy-of-care approach plus targeted glucose and hemoglobin A(1c) values. Other natural history and intervention studies support the findings of the DCCT. Although our current tools are not perfect, they allow us to decrease microangiopathic complications very significantly if we educate our patients and their family members. Metabolic control counts.


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