Poster Presentation Australian Diabetes Society and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association Annual Scientific Meeting 2014

Social and behavioural influences on glycaemic control in young adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus (#383)

Jessica Osan 1 , James Punch 1 , Mark Watson 1 , Pixie Barrie , Bu Yeap
  1. Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA, Australia
ObjectiveYoung adults with Type 1 diabetes often exhibit sub-optimal glycemic control. Factors which influence glycemic control in this vulnerable population are incompletely understood. We sought to examine demographic, social and behavioural factors and their relationship to diabetes control in this group.Participants and methodsThis was a retrospective audit of hospital medical records of patients with Type 1 diabetes aged 18-25 years who attended the Fremantle Hospital Young Adult Diabetes Clinic up to May 2014. Demographic, medical and social/behavioural data were collected for primary clinic visits. Excessive alcohol use was defined as >14 standard drinks/week male or >7/week female. HbA1c and the presence of retinopathy were recorded.ResultsData were obtained for 57 patients (33 male, 24 female). Mean (±SD) age was 21.3±2.3 years. Duration of diabetes was 9.6±6.4 years. Two patients had retinopathy. 14 were full-time students, 8 in part-time work and 33 full-time, 10 were neither studying nor working. 10 (18%) were using pumps the remainder were on basal-bolus insulin regimens. 19 (33%) reported engaging in risk-taking behaviour (7 excessive alcohol, 10 smoking, 7 recreational drug use, 4 extreme sports). Concern over hypoglycaemia was recorded in 12 (22%). Mean HbA1c was comparable in pump users compared to basal-bolus (9.1±2.2 vs 9.0±1.4%, p=0.84), and did not vary according to duration of diabetes (coefficient 0.12, p=0.42). HbA1c did not vary according to risk taking behaviour (9.3±1.9 vs 8.8±2.4, p=0.44) or concern over hypoglycaemia (10.3±2.0 vs 8.7±2.0, p=0.26). Patients who were studying or working had lower HbA1c compared to those engaged in neither (8.9±2.1 vs 10.5±2.1, p=0.03).ConclusionsIn young adults with Type 1 diabetes, many engaged in risk taking behaviours which did not influence their glycemic control. Engagement in study or employment was associated with lower HbA1c compared to neither. Further studies are needed to clarify the potential role of behavioural interventions to improve diabetes management in young adults.