Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes in Austria.
Mortality of cardiovascular diseases in patients with type 1 diabetes is increased 2- to 20-fold compared to non-diabetic individuals. In young adults with type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular events are more often the cause of premature death than nephropathy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and extent of cardiovascular risk factors in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes in Austria. In a cross sectional study data of children with type 1 diabetes <18 years of age treated at the Childrens department of the University Hospitals of Vienna and Graz were collected. We recorded body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, HbA1c, triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol according to age, sex, age at manifestation, diabetes duration, and insulin requirement. From 264 patients (49.4% male) complete data were available. Of all patients, 76.1% had one or more risk factors, 20.8% had two or more, 10.2% had three or more, and 4.9% had four or more risk factors. Insufficient glycemic control was the most frequent risk factor, present in 60.6% of our patients, followed by elevated triglycerides (22.7%) and increased body mass index (20.1%). Higher prevalence of risk factors was correlated with increasing age, diabetes duration, HbA1c, and insulin requirement. In conclusion, children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes have a much higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors compared to non-diabetic individuals. To prevent future cardiovascular events, achieving the best possible glycemic control, early detection of further risk factors, and adequate intervention are highly important.