Tweens with type 1 diabetes often fail to keep up with their blood glucose monitoring, and they pay the price with higher blood sugar levels, according to research published online April 3 in Diabetes Care.

The two-year study of 225 children with diabetes -- aged 9 to 11 -- was led by Cincinnati Children’s researcher Joseph  Rausch, PhD, and colleagues.  It reports that children with type 1 diabetes monitor their blood glucose less frequently during the transition to adolescence, which results in significant increases in HbA1c levels.

The researchers found that blood glucose monitoring frequency among the tweens dropped from 4.9 to 4.5 checks per day, while their HbA1c levels increased from 8.2 to 8.6 percent.

"The magnitude of the effect of declining treatment adherence (BGMF) on glycemic control in young adolescents may be even greater than declines observed among older adolescents. BGMF offers a powerful tool for targeted management of glycemic control for type 1 diabetes during the critical transition to adolescence," Rausch and colleagues write.

In addition to Rausch, study co-authors from Cincinnati Children’s included Jennifer Rohan, MA, Lawrence Dolan, MD, and Dennis Drotar, PhD.