The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has issued new guidelines for optimal A1C levels in pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes, lowering them to 7% hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) levels, instead of 7.5%, as per their 2019 guidelines.
The recommendation was published in Diabetes Care in a review article by Dr. Maria J. Redondo, a pediatric endocrinologist at Texas Children's Hospital and professor at Baylor College of Medicine, as well as Dr. Sarah Lyons, pediatric endocrinologist at Texas Children's and assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine.
They demonstrate that chronically elevated levels of blood glucose can cause several detrimental effects including abnormal brain development, increased heart problems, other diabetes-related complications (e.g., diabetic nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy), and higher mortality rates in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes.
"Until recently, there was a mistaken belief that sugar fluctuations in prepubescent children do not cause any long-term harm," the authors said. "However, it is increasingly evident that is not true."
The new guidelines reflect similar guidance issued by other diabetes societies worldwide, Redondo said.