Shallow Breath and Swelling Blood Sugar

Diabetes patients with asthma have poorer blood sugar control

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Children who are struggling with both diabetes and asthma have to deal with more than shortness of breath; some of them seem to have a harder time keeping their blood sugar under control.

Young people with diabetes may have a higher rate of asthma compared to the general US population. What's more, asthma seems to be associated with poor blood sugar control among young patients with type 1 diabetes.

"Treat your child's asthma to help control their blood sugar."

Mary Helen Black, Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente Southern California, and her fellow researchers set out to study the rates of asthma among young people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. They also wanted to look into the links between asthma and blood sugar control.

Asthma is one of many conditions associated with diabetes. This study offers more evidence of the complex relationship between lung function, body mass index (a measure of body fat using height and weight), blood sugar control.

Dr. Black and colleagues found that nearly 11 percent of all young people with diabetes also had asthma. Of those with type 1 diabetes, 10 percent had asthma.

The rate of asthma among young people with type 2 diabetes was even more drastic. Slightly more than 16 percent of these patients had asthma.

The study also shows that type 1 diabetes patients have much higher HbA1c levels (a measure of blood sugar over a three-month period), compared to those without asthma. Poor blood sugar control is especially a problem for young type 1 patients if their asthma goes untreated.

According to the authors, certain asthma drugs may reduce inflammation, an underlying link between asthma and blood sugar control.

The researchers drew their data from the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study. They looked at 1,683 young people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and 311 with type 2 diabetes. They used medical records and questionnaires to see whether patients had asthma and asthma treatment. The researchers measured blood sugar control with the HbA1c test.

The full results of the cross-sectional analysis by Dr. Black and colleagues is published in the journal Pediatrics

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
September 28, 2011
Last Updated:
September 28, 2011