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Parental diabetes linked to higher HbA1c and poor glycemic control in children

Worse glycemic control and higher HbA1c levels in children with type 2 diabetes is associated with parents who have diabetes, a study suggests.
Researchers at the State University of New York Upstate Medical Centre sought to assess parental factors linked to youths with type 2 diabetes.
They analysed 699 children with type 2 diabetes, with all children accompanied by an adult caregiver. For 89.1 per cent of the children, this adult was a parent.
Data that was taken included weight, HbA1c, blood pressure and medical history, with the children followed for between two and seven years.
Parental diabetes was associated with higher baseline HbA1c levels and the failure to maintain glycemic control.

This failure rate for glycemic control rate was 53.6 per cent compared to a 38.2 failure rate when parents did not have diabetes.
An association was also found between parents with a BMI of over 30 kg/m2 and higher baseline BMI scores in their children.
The researchers wrote: “Most striking is the very early relationship between parental diabetes status and youth glycemic control. A true family-centered approach would help the parent focus on his or her own needs and problems as well.
“It would be interesting to learn whether an intervention for a parent with diabetes that addresses parental glycemic control and weight would result in improved youth glycemic control and weight.”
Further research is needed to better understand these findings, the researchers concluded, to assess biological and behavioural factors in parents that could yield improved health outcomes in children.

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