Tight glycemic control decreases risks of complications. Male and female AYA with T1D are vulnerable to poor glycemic control resulting in retinopathy (RET), neuropathy, nephropathy, high blood pressure (HBP), and RH complications. About half of males with T1D report RH complications (e.g., erectile dysfunction) as early as 25 years and up to 10% of women with T1D have pregnancy-related complications; however, these topics are rarely discussed.
Purpose: To describe and compare concerns of diabetes-related complications, including adverse RH outcomes among male and female AYA with T1D.
Methods: A diabetes transition care program for AYA with T1D at an academic children’s hospital provides care and small group discussion-education sessions on relevant topics (e.g., RH with diabetes, complications/prevention, risk behavior, self-care). Participants were given a survey prior to the program to gauge perceptions on T1D complications. Both female (n=19) and male (n=23) participants (aged 17-22 years) ranked concerns for complications from 1 (most) to 5 (least). Mann-Whitney U-tests were used to compare genders on complication rankings.
Results: RET was the greatest concern for both females (n=7; 37%) and males (n=10; 44%). The second most frequently reported concern was RH for females (n=5; 26%) and HBP for males (n=5; 22%). The most frequently reported “least” concerning complication was RH for males (n=9; 39%) and HBP for females (n=11; 58%). A significant difference between genders was HBP (p=.02), where males tended to report greater concern.
Conclusion: Retinopathy was an overall major concern. Gender differences in concerns were found for only HBP. No males ranked RH complications as a major concern. It is imperative to raise awareness and discuss concerns during adolescence. Initiating discussions with health professionals can empower AYA with T1D to maintain healthy lifestyles and prevent complications including RH.
A.F.R. Fischl: None. D. Charron-Prochownik: None. S.M. Sereika: None. D.L. Rofey: None. D.J. Becker: None. J. Finney: None. A.M. Diaz: None. I. Libman: Consultant; Self; Novo Nordisk A/S.