Self-Stigma Linked to HbA1c in Adults With Type 1 Diabetes

Significant positive association seen after adjustment for age, sex, employment status, BMI, diabetes duration, insulin secretion

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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with type 1 diabetes, there is a significant association between self-stigma and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), according to a study published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation.

Shoko Hamano, from Asahi Life Foundation in Tokyo, and colleagues examined the correlation between self-stigma and HbA1c in Japanese people with type 1 diabetes in a cross-sectional study. Outpatients with type 1 diabetes aged 18 years and older completed questionnaires using nine items from the Japanese version of the Self-Stigma Scale.

The final analysis excluding participants with incomplete answers and laboratory data included 109 participants. The researchers found a significant positive association between self-stigma and HbA1c after adjustment for age, sex, employment status, body mass index, duration of diabetes, and insulin secretion (β = 0.05).

"We focused on this issue through clinical experiences with people with type 1 diabetes, whose glycemic management improved markedly by social supports of eliminating diabetes-related stigma. Although the finding of an association between self-stigma and HbA1c is significant, further longitudinal research is required to determine whether self-stigma leads to suboptimal HbA1c," a coauthor said in a statement. "This research does support and highlight the importance of eliminating self-stigma when treating people with type 1 diabetes."

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