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Diabetic Medicine
Year: 2014  |  Volume: 31  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 493 - 499

A cross-sectional study of glycaemic control, complications and psychosocial functioning among 18- to 35-year-old adults with Type 1 diabetes

V. Zoffmann, D. Vistisen and M. Due-Christensen    

Abstract:

Aims

To describe the level of glycaemic control, complications and psychosocial functioning and the relationships between these variables in the under-researched group of younger adults with Type 1 diabetes.

Methods

Local electronic health records provided data on age, gender, disease duration, HbA1c and complications for 710 younger adults (1835 years) with Type 1 diabetes. A questionnaire with wide-ranging psychometric scales was used to measure various aspects of psychosocial functioning: the burden of diabetes-related problems, well-being, self-esteem, perceived competence in managing diabetes, perceived autonomy support from health professionals and self-management motivations. Furthermore, patients reported weekly self-monitored blood glucose measurements and insulin administration. Associations between HbA1c, complication and psychosocial indicators were tested using linear and logistic regression models, adjusted stepwise for confounders, including age, gender, diabetes duration, continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion, smoking and BMI.

Results

In total, 406 (57%) participants responded. The responders had a mean age of 27.1 (5.1) years, a mean diabetes duration of 13.5 (7.9) years and an HbA1c of 66 mmol/mol (8.2%), with similar values for both genders (P = 0.87). Complications were observed among women more commonly than among men (31.6 vs. 18.8%, P < 0.01), and high distress levels were more prevalent among women compared with men (51.2 vs. 31.9%, P < 0.0001). Except for perceived autonomy support, the psychosocial variables were all associated with HbA1c (P < 0.001).

Conclusions

The high prevalence of poor glycaemic control, early complications and psychosocial distress require health-promoting interventions tailored to the interrelated clinical and psychosocial needs of younger adults with Type 1 diabetes.

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