Type 1 diabetes disrupts educational outcomes

July 30, 2019

Poorer educational outcomes may need to be added to the list of the potential outcomes for children who have type 1 diabetes.

Poorer educational outcomes may need to be added to the list of the potential outcomes for children who have type 1 diabetes. A new study published in Diabetes Care examines the connection.

Researchers used 9 databases from across Scotland that included hospital admissions, maternity records, dispensed prescriptions, diabetes registered, death certificates, school absences/exclusions, school examination, annual pupil census, and unemployment, which resulted in a cohort of 766,047 single-birth children who were born and attended school in Scotland between 2009 and 2013. Within that cohort, 3330 children were treated for type 1 diabetes.

The children treated for type 1 diabetes were more likely than their peers who did not have the condition to be absent from school, have some form of learning difficulty, be admitted to a hospital, and die. In the cohort of children with type 1 diabetes, the children with a higher HbA1c measurement, particularly those with a measurement in the highest quintile, were more likely to have an increased risk of exclusion, a greater rate of absenteeism, poorer attainment of education, and a higher risk of being unemployed.

The researchers highlighted the need to develop interventions to reduce school absenteeism and to ensure that children with type 1 diabetes are able to attain needed education.