A review of approximately 47,936 people with type 1 diabetes in the United States, Germany, and Austria found significant differences in health outcomes among the patient populations. The researchers showed twice as many youth in Germany and Austria had HbA1c levels under 7.5 than their counterparts in the United States.
The findings were unveiled at the American Diabetes Association 79th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco this week.
For the study, researchers examined data from 28,494 patients from the German/Austrian DPV registry and 19,442 patients from the U.S.-based T1D Exchange (T1DX) Clinic registry to see if there were similarities or differences in cardiovascular health outcomes between the two groups.
They found several differences between the two groups of patients:
-The percentage of adolescents with type 1 diabetes who achieved HbA1c of less than 7.5 was more than twice as high (36%) among the German and Austrian patient population as among the U.S. patient population (15%). The trend continued, although not as pronounced, among the young adult population (ages 18 years old to 26 years old), with 38 percent of German and Austrian patients in this age range achieving HbA1c of less than 7.5, compared to 23 percent of U.S. patients in this age range.
-Youth with type 1 diabetes in Germany and Austria under the age of 26 had a higher frequency of hypertension than their U.S. counterparts. However, that dynamic reversed for patient populations ages 50 and older, with the U.S. population showing a higher frequency of hypertension.
-Across all age groups of patients, the frequency of obesity was higher among U.S. patients with type 1 diabetes than among the German and Austrian group.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among people with type 1 diabetes; some researchers speculate this might be because blood sugar fluctuations may damage sensitive blood vessels, but the underlying cause for this is not yet fully understood.
Nicole Foster, a biostatistician with the Jaeb Center, says the researchers hope that by comparing health data from these two large patient populations, researchers can better understand risk factors for cardiovascular disease among people with type 1 diabetes.
“By accessing data from these two large registries we were given the unique opportunity to assess cardiovascular risk factors in the T1D population on an international scale, bringing us one step closer to improving clinical care and diabetes outcomes,” said Foster.
You can read more about T1D Exchange-related research at the ADA 79th Scientific Sessions here.
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