Asthma Prevalence Elevated in Youth With Diabetes

Asthma associated with poor glycemic control in youth with type 1 diabetes, especially if untreated

TUESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Asthma is more prevalent in youth with diabetes compared to the general U.S. population, and is associated with poor glycemic control in youth with type 1 diabetes, especially if untreated, according to a study published online Sept. 26 in Pediatrics.

Mary Helen Black, Ph.D., from Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, and colleagues estimated the prevalence of asthma among youth with type 1 and 2 diabetes, and examined the association between asthma and glycemic control. Asthma status and medications data were analyzed from self-administered questionnaires and medical records of 1,683 and 311 youth diagnosed with type 1 and 2 diabetes, respectively, from 2002 through 2005. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) was measured to assess the glycemic control.

The investigators found that the prevalence of asthma among all youth with diabetes, youth with type 1 diabetes, and youth with type 2 diabetes was 10.9, 10.0 and 16.1 percent, respectively, and that it varied with race and ethnicity. After adjusting for age, gender, race, and body mass index, mean HbA1c levels were higher in youth with type 1 diabetes who had asthma compared to those without asthma. Poor glycemic control was more likely among youth with asthma, especially among those with type 1 diabetes not being given pharmacotherapy for asthma. After adjusting for race and ethnicity, this association was attenuated.

"Prevalence of asthma may be elevated among youth with diabetes, relative to the general U.S. population. Among youth with type 1 diabetes, asthma is associated with poor glycemic control, especially if asthma is untreated," the authors write.

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