T1 Diabetes Test Results May Be Deceptive In Black Children
By Mike Boyle

According to a new study published in the May issue of Diabetes Care, black children with type 1 diabetes score higher than white children with similar blood glucose levels on a critical test, potentially leading their physicians to give them the wrong treatment.

The test "can be deceptive in African-American children with diabetes, misleading their doctors into believing that glucose levels are higher than they really are," research team member Dr. Stuart A. Chalew, professor of pediatrics at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, said in a news release and reported by BusinessWeek.

If doctors don`t take both the test and self-monitored blood sugar levels into account, "they are likely to unintentionally provoke increased episodes of life-threatening hypoglycemia [low blood sugar] in African-American patients," Chalew said.

The study tracked 276 children with type 1 diabetes for six years at Children`s Hospital of New Orleans. The average age was 12.5 years and they had had diabetes for about five years, on average.

Chalew and his colleagues looked at results of the hemoglobin A1c screening test, which is an indicator of blood sugar levels over the previous two or three months. They also tracked blood sugar levels from glucose tests that the participants gave themselves for at least a month.

Read more on the study from BusinessWeek here, and also take a look at an abstract review of the actual study here.


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Originally posted May 10, 2010.