Conflict of interest: None.
Is glycosylated haemoglobin associated with psychosocial stress in non-diabetic 6-year-olds?
Article first published online: 30 OCT 2013
© 2013 Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI). Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2013 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (The Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 50, Issue 2, pages 153–157, February 2014
How to Cite
Price, A. M., Maayan, T., Wake, M. A. and Hiscock, H. (2014), Is glycosylated haemoglobin associated with psychosocial stress in non-diabetic 6-year-olds?. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 50: 153–157. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12415
- Issue published online: 16 FEB 2014
- Article first published online: 30 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 JUN 2013
- Australian National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Grant Number: 237120
- Pratt Foundation
- Foundation for Children. Grant Number: 180 2009
- The University of Melbourne
- Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI)
- NHMRC Population Health Career Development Awards. Grant Numbers: 284556, 546405
- NHMRC Population Health Capacity Building Grant. Grant Number: 436914
- Career Development Award. Grant Number: 607351
- haemoglobin A;
- mental health;
- socioeconomic factors;
Glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), a marker of diabetic glycemic control, is associated with chronic psychosocial stress in non-diabetic adults. This study aimed to determine whether HbA1c also acts as a biomarker of psychosocial stress in healthy 6-year-olds.
Design and participants: Eligible participants were 326 children recruited from 6 socio-economically diverse areas in Melbourne, Australia, who took part in an earlier randomised trial for sleep problems at age 7 months. At 6 years, they participated in a follow-up assessment. Outcome: HbA1c collected by finger-prick. Exposures (collected simultaneously): proxy measures of child stress including: (i) child mental health; (ii) maternal mental health (depression, anxiety, stress), negative life events in the preceding year, life stresses and coping; and (iii) family socioeconomic status and financial stress. Analyses: linear regressions, adjusted for original randomisation status and clustering.
Sixty percent (134/225) of children retained at 6 years provided HbA1c data, which ranged from 3.9%–5.8% (SD 0.3%). No child or family variable was associated with HbA1c. Of the maternal variables, only anxiety predicted HbA1c (adjusted difference per point increase: −0.01, 95% CI: −0.003 to 0.02, P = 0.01); this association was in the opposite direction to that hypothesised and clinically insignificant.
HbA1c was not associated with psychosocial stress in healthy 6-year-olds. This suggests that any link between HbA1c and psychosocial stress emerges after this age, and that HbA1c is unlikely to be a reliable biomarker for stress in early childhood or over the transition to school.