Blood Glucose, Child Conduct Linked in Type 1 Diabetes

Externalizing behavior in diabetic youths may indicate health challenges in adulthood

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Glycemic status is associated with aggression and other conduct problems in children with type 1 diabetes, researchers report in the September issue of Diabetes Care.

Ciara McDonnell, of the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues used 72-hour glucose monitoring and parent questionnaires to assess glycemic status and behavior in 5- to 10-year-old children with type 1 diabetes. Children were assessed at six-month intervals.

Overall, mean blood glucose and mean externalizing behavior scores were strongly associated. Mean externalizing behavior scores were linked to the percentage of time in high and normal glycemic ranges. Externalizing behavior scores dropped by 1.0 with each 5 percent increase in time spent in the normal glycemic range. Externalizing behavior scores rose by 1.0 for each 5 percent increase in the time spent in the high range.

"Externalizing behaviors were associated with intercurrent glycemic status," the authors write. "These findings underscore the importance of understanding the mechanisms of this association and how it might impact ultimate diabetes outcomes."

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