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Pediatrics. 2011 Sep;128(3):531-8. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-3641. Epub 2011 Aug 22.

Adherence to guidelines for youths with diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1Pacific Health Research Institute, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.



To describe demographic and clinical characteristics associated with self-reported receipt of tests and measurements recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for children and youths with diabetes.


The study included 1514 SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study participants who completed a survey about diabetes care received. Quality-of-care measures were based on ADA guidelines for eye examinations and glycohemoglobin (hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c]), lipid level, microalbuminuria, and blood pressure measurements, and a composite variable of these 5 indicators was created. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to assess the association of selected demographic and clinical characteristics with the reported receipt of all recommended tests and measurements according to age and diabetes type subgroups.


Overall, 95% of the participants reported having their blood pressure checked at all or most visits, 88% had lipid levels measured, 83% had kidney function tested, 68% underwent HbA1c testing, and 66% underwent an eye examination, in accordance with ADA recommendations. Participants aged 18 years or older, particularly those with type 2 diabetes, tended to have fewer tests of all kinds performed. Age and family income emerged as important correlates of overall quality of care in multivariate models; older age and lower income were associated with not meeting guidelines.


Although there was relatively good adherence to ADA-recommended guidelines for most indicators, efforts are needed to improve rates of HbA1c testing and eye examinations, particularly among older youths.

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