Introduction: Adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) may differ from their healthy peers with respect to risky behavior.
Purpose: To explore the frequency of risky behaviors of T1D adolescents in comparison with healthy peers and associated factors.
Patients and methods: The study population included 174 adolescents, of whom 58 T1D adolescents (mean±SD age 16.3±2.0 years, disease duration 6.7±3.5 years and HbA1c:8.0±1.3%) and 116 healthy controls (matching 1:2 for school, class and gender). Anonymous, self-reported questionnaires were used to evaluate sexual and risk-taking behaviors.
Results: T1D adolescents had a sexual experience at a significantly lower percentage than healthy peers (74.1% vs 87.4%, P=0.033). The number of sexual partners was similar for both groups. Intoxication by alcohol prior to sexual contact was reported in far fewer cases in T1D adolescents (4.3% vs. 20%, P=0.046). Risky behavior was observed less frequently among T1D adolescents than controls (8.62% vs 23.27% respectively). Less girls than boys in both T1D and control groups had risky behaviors (0% vs 18.5%, P=0.401). T1D adolescents with ≥ 2 risky behaviors were all boys, with an older age than the rest of the T1D group (17.8 vs 16.2 years, P<0.031), a younger age at first sexual intercourse (14.8 vs 16.3 years, P=0.031) and with higher maternal education (P=0.039). No difference in diabetes duration and glycaemic control between the groups with or without risky behavior. When comparing control adolescents according to the presence/absence of risky behaviour, the risky group was also older in age (16.5 vs 15.7 years, P=0.006) and predominantly boys (44% vs 11.1%, P=0.022); however, no significant difference in terms of parental education or age at sexual debut between the two control groups was observed.
Conclusions: Risky behavior was observed less frequently among T1D adolescents than their healthy peers and less frequently among girls of both groups. Risky behavior in T1D group was associated with older age, younger age at sexual debut and higher maternal education, but not with diabetes duration and glycaemic control.
27 - 29 Sep 2018
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology