Trisomy 21 and Diabetes: Assessing the Risk of Diabetes in Persons with Down’s Syndrome < 20 Years in Special Schools in Guyana

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Authors : Boston C, Aaron R, Singh J, Cummings E, McKenzie M, Adeghate E


There is correlation between Down syndrome and Type 1 Diabetes (T1DM). Many researchers have fuelled this concept by chromosomal analysis, anatomical and physiological analysis aand has provided support by assessing the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) in persons with Down Syndrome. The objective of this study was to provide information of the risk of DM in persons under the age of 20 years with Down Syndrome and the awareness of caregivers (parents/guardians and teachers) of Down syndrome children on the potential development of T1DM in those children. The study was conducted with the use of two groups involving children with Down Syndrome and their caregivers. Questionnaires were distributed to the caregivers and a rrandom blood glucose analysis was performed on the children using the glucose oxidase method. The results show that 38% of Down syndrome children were at risk of becoming diabetic having blood glucose levels above 140mg/dl. The mean blood glucose in this study was 141.2mg/dl. Children 6-10 years had the highest mean blood glucose levels (143 mg/dl). Males had greater proportion (14%) of very high blood glucose as compared to females (4%). Children whose parents/guardians answered yes to monitoring their diet had a high blood glucose level mirroring those that were not monitored. Caregivers were also not aware of the predisposition to diabetes. The results have indicated that the situation requires attention from parents, the schools and the Ministry of Health and Education in Guyana and in turn they have to address this problem as soon as a child is born and diagnosed with Down syndrome so as to combat the potential situation from the inception.

Word for index: Trisomy- 21, Down syndrome, Glucose, Children, Guyana, Type 1 diabetes mellitus.


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