Background: The existent glycemic control of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) patients in daily practice might not reach the goals determined in guidelines. Ethnic diversity was also shown to influence glycemic control.
Objectives: To evaluate glycemic control, prevalence of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) at presentation, diabetic complications rate, and associated autoimmune diseases in a pediatric T1DM patient population in the Negev area.
Methods: Clinical and demographic details of 168 T1DM patients were evaluated, including HbA1C levels, long-term complications, related autoimmune diseases, and insulin pump usage. The data were analyzed and the Jewish and Bedouin patient groups compared.
Results: Only 13.1% of the patients had reached the HbA1C levels recommended by the current guidelines at the first and second year follow-up visits, and 9.5% and 7.1% at the third and fourth year visits, respectively. A significant difference in HbA1c levels between Jewish and Bedouin patients was found (P = 0.045 at the first year follow-up, P ≤ 0.01 thereafter). Significant difference was found between the Jewish and the Bedouin groups regarding presentation with DKA, 33% and 56% of the patients respectively (P = 0.01).
Conclusions: Existent glycemic control in daily practice is far from the guideline goals. Bedouin ethnicity was associated with less favorable diabetes control, emphasizing the need for better awareness of T1DM and its treatment options in this population. More resources should be directed to address T1DM in the general population, especially among the Bedouin.