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Abstract

Aims

We prospectively evaluated the effect of insulin intensification on glycaemic control and lipid levels in children and young persons with Type 1 diabetes in relation to ethnicity.

Methods

In the first 2 years of a 3-year observation period, as part of routine clinical care, 231 children and young persons (40% white, 28% South Asian, 32% black) from a single clinic were offered intensive insulin therapy. After 2 years, 222 were on intensive therapy and their data were compared between ethnic groups at the end of year 3.

Results

We observed ethnic differences in HbA1c levels during the study [study beginning and end: white children and young persons 77 and 70 mmol/mol (9.2 and 8.6%) vs. South Asian 72 and 68 mmol/mol (8.7 and 8.4%) vs. black 83 and 79 mmol/mol (9.7 and 9.4%), P-value for ANCOVA = 0.007]. By study end, South Asians had the lowest HDL cholesterol (2.0 vs. 1.4 vs. 1.6 mmol/l, P-value = 0.03) and highest triglyceride levels (0.9 vs. 1.8 vs. 1.0 mmol/l, P-value = 0.001). In linear mixed modelling, after adjustment for socio-economic deprivation and other covariates: (1) black ethnicity was associated with poorer glycaemic control (P < 0.001) and (2) South Asian ethnicity was associated with higher triglyceride levels (P < 0.001), independent of HbA1c.

Conclusions

The effect of insulin intensification on glycaemic control and lipid profile in children and young persons with Type 1 diabetes differs in relation to ethnic group.