Researchers identify a need for type 1 diabetics to be screened for vitamin D deficiency

by Barbara Hewitt on April 22, 2016

People with type diabetes, especially children should be tested for vitamin D levels, it is claimed, after a study found a high incidence of deficiency.

The study in the United States is the first to look at vitamin D deficiency and its association with blood glucose levels.

Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing looked at the association of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and blood glucose levels among children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

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The study involved 197 children and adolescents from the Diabetes Centre for Children at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In the study some 23% of the children were overweight and 13% were obese.

Researchers collected non-fasting blood samples to measure 25-hydroxyvitamin D and blood glucose levels. HbA1c and other key variables were abstracted from patientsí medical records.

The researchers found that a high prevalence of 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency was observed in the cohort, specifically among healthy weight and Caucasian children who had previously been considered at no or low risk of having low levels of vitamin D.

“To our knowledge this is the first study that has been adequately-powered to examine the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and HbA1c, a measure of diabetes control, in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes,” Terri Lipman, professor of nursing of children.

“These data suggest the need for monitoring of vitamin D in all youth with this disorder,” Lipman added.

Meanwhile, separate research suggests that teenagers who sleep less than eight hours at night are more likely to have fat around the midsection and to be resistant to insulin, which can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.

A study carried out by the Laboratory of Investigation on Metabolism and Diabetes at the University of Campinas in Sao Paolo, Brazil, found that a reduction of two hours sleep a day is enough to decrease insulin sensitivity.

“There are several studies in adults showing a close relationship between sleep deprivation and increased cardiovascular risk factors, including increased prevalence of obesity and diabetes,” said senior author Dr. Bruno Geloneze.

“In our study we can demonstrate an increase in insulin resistance independently of the presence of obesity suggesting an intrinsic mechanism connecting sleep deprivation and metabolic derangement,” he explained.

The researchers used data collected between 2011 and 2014 from 615 youngsters aged 10 to 19. On average they reported sleeping 7.9 hours per night. The 257 teens who slept less than eight hours per night tended to be slightly older, to have a higher weight relative to their height, and a larger waist and neck circumference, compared to those who slept more. Those who slept less also were less sensitive to insulin than those who slept more.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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