The incidence of type 1 diabetes is increasing in many parts of Asia, where resources may not enable targets for glycemic control to be achieved. The aims of this study were to describe glycemic control, diabetes care, and complications in youth with type 1 diabetes from the Western Pacific Region and to identify factors associated with glycemic control and hypoglycemia.
A cross-sectional clinic-based study on 2312 children and adolescents (aged <18 years; 45% males) from 96 pediatric diabetes centers in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand was conducted. Clinical and management details were recorded, and finger-pricked blood samples were obtained for central glycated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)).
The median age of the patients was 12.5 years [interquartile range (IQR)=9.4-15.3 years]; diabetes duration, 4.4 years (IQR=2.5-7.2 years); and HbA(1c) level, 8.3% (IQR 7.4%-9.7%). Insulin treatment consisted of one or two daily injections in 61% of the patients (range=22%-90% by country), and home blood glucose monitoring (range=67%-100%) was practiced by 96%. HbA(1c) level was significantly associated with country, age, diabetes duration, sex, insulin dose per kilogram, insulin regimen, and frequency of home blood glucose measurement in multiple regression analysis. The incidence of severe hypoglycemia, defined as any episode requiring assistance in the previous 3 months, was 73 per 100 patient-years and was associated with country, male sex, higher HbA(1c) level, an insulin regimen with three or more injections, and more frequent home blood glucose testing. The incidence of diabetic ketoacidosis was 10 per 100 patient-years and was associated with country, higher HbA(1c) level, and higher insulin dose per kilogram.
There is marked variability in glycemic control, hypoglycemia, complication rates, and diabetes care among children from the Western Pacific Region. Most are not achieving adequate glycemic control, placing them at high risk of microvascular complications.