Parents have always said that they can tell when their children’s blood sugar is high by their kids’ behavior, which tends to change, and not for the better, when their sugar is high. Now a formal study has confirmed just that.
The researchers examined 42 Australian children between the ages of five and ten years who’d had type 1 for at least two years. Their average A1c was 8.2%, and all were on multiple daily injections. During the study, each child wore a continuous glucose monitor for 72 hours on two occasions, spaced six months apart. Both times, their parents completed the Behavior Assessment System for Children, which quantifies “externalizing behaviors” such as aggression, hyperactivity, delinquency, and disruptiveness.
Overall, the children spent 42.4 percent of the time with high blood sugar. For every five-percent increase in time spent with the high blood sugars, there was a one-point increase in the externalizing behavior score. For every five-percent increase in time spent in the normal blood sugar range, there was a 1-point decrease in the externalizing behavior score.
Of course normal blood sugars are important for long-term health. It appears from this research, however, that good blood glucose control is also critical in helping kids behave themselves.
Sources: Diabetes Care, September 2007; Reuters