Most Teens, Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes Report Stigma

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Stigma is associated with two-fold higher odds of poor glycemic control after adjustment for confounders.
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).

"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.

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