TUESDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Women with type 1 diabetes (T1D) may have increased levels of risk markers for cardiovascular disease (CVD) as early as adolescence, according to a study presented at the American Diabetes Association's 71st Scientific Sessions, held from June 24 to 28 in San Diego.
Talia L. Brown, from the University of Colorado in Denver, and colleagues investigated the gender differences in risk factors of CVD among adolescents (average age, 15 years) with T1D (152 boys and 150 girls) and those without diabetes (non-DM) (47 boys and 53 girls). The Tanner stage of puberty was reported by the physicians of 350 participants, and self-reported by 52 participants. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL), systolic blood pressure (SBP), body mass index (BMI), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were the risk markers examined.
The investigators found that, compared to non-DM girls, girls with T1D had higher CVD risk factors adjusted for all ages and Tanner stages, which remained significant even after adjusting for BMI. Risk factors for CVD were similar for boys with or without T1D. In patients with T1D, girls had higher CRP, LDL, HbA1c, and BMI than boys, and the increase in CRP and LDL persisted after adjusting for BMI and HbA1c. For LDL and SBP, the detrimental effect of T1D was significantly higher in girls than in boys (P = 0.02 for LDL and 0.05 for SBP, respectively).
"Striking gender differences in CVD risk factors among T1D patients are present in adolescence. This age may be a critical period for CVD prevention in girls with T1D," the authors write.