Most Teens, Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes Report Stigma

woman with cell phone and diabetes kit
woman with cell phone and diabetes kit
Stigma is associated with two-fold higher odds of poor glycemic control after adjustment for confounders.

HealthDay News — Stigma is common in teens with type 1 diabetes and is associated with poor glycemic control, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Anne-Sophie Brazeau, Ph.D., R.D., from McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues estimated stigma prevalence in youth (aged 14 to 24 years) with type 1 diabetes and its associations with glycemic control. Stigma was defined as endorsement of one or more of three stigma-specific items of the Barriers to Diabetes Adherence questionnaire. Participants (n = 380) completed a web-based survey and mailed in capillary blood samples for glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) measurement.

The researchers found that stigma prevalence was 65.5 percent. Stigma was associated with a two-fold higher odds of poor glycemic control overall (odds ratio [OR], 2.25) after adjustment for age, sex, and type of treatment. Stigma was also specifically associated with both HbA1c >9 percent (OR, 3.05) and severe hypoglycemia in the previous year (OR, 1.86).

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“These results should stimulate clinicians, friends, and family members to ask about stigma and work toward addressing it to help youth with type 1 diabetes avoid diabetes-related complications and lead happier and safer lives,” the authors conclude.

Abstract/Full Text