Describe gender differences in hospitalizations for IDDM to investigate the need for gender-specific interventions to reduce diabetes-related morbidity.


Analyses were based on hospital discharges with any mention of IDDM (n = 2,889) and the subset of these for IDDM as a principal diagnosis (n = 2,270) in California children, ages 0–18 years during 1991. Pregnancy-related hospitalizations were excluded.


Females had more diabetes hospitalizations among discharges with any mention of diabetes, among discharges with diabetes as a principal diagnosis, and among discharges with diabetic ketoacidosis as a principal diagnosis. For diabetes as a principal diagnosis, females had 40% more hospitalizations, 44% more repeated hospitalizations, 23% more individuals hospitalized, and significantly higher rates of hospitalizations for ages 10–14 years (50 vs. 38 per 100,000) and for ages 15–18 years (68 vs. 29 per 100,000). Gender differences occurred primarily in adolescents, were independent of complicating conditions at the time of hospitalization, and were observed for diabetic ketoacidosis alone.


Adolescent females had more diabetes hospitalizations than did males. The underlying cause may be biological or behavioral. Management protocols tailored for young women may be required to reduce hospitalizations for IDDM among females.

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