Equal access to health care may diminish the differences in outcome between native and immigrant patients with type 1 diabetes

Siri Fredheim, Ahmed Delli, Heba Rida, Ann-Kristin Drivvoll, Torild Skrivarhaug, Ragnar Bjarnason, Arni Thorsson, Bengt Lindblad, Jannet Svensson

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13 Citations (SciVal)


Background/Objective: Previous studies have found that ethnicity influences glycemic control. We hypothesized that differences between Nordic and non-Nordic patients are less pronounced for children with type 1 diabetes in high incidence countries in Northern Europe. Research design and methods: We investigated patients aged 0-15 yr in national pediatric registers in Denmark (D), Iceland (I), Norway (N), and Sweden (S) (2006-2009). Ethnic origin was defined by maternal country of birth as being Nordic or non-Nordic (other countries). Results: The cohort (n= 11,908, 53.0% boys, onset age 7.7 (3.9) yr, diabetes duration 6.1 (3.6) yr, [mean, (SD)]) comprised 921 (7.7%) non-Nordic patients. The frequencies of non-Nordic patients according to country of residence were: 5.7% (D), 2.7% (I), 5.5% (N), and 9.4% (S). Sex distribution and BMI z-score did not differ between Nordic and non-Nordic patients, but non-Nordic patients were 0.5 yr younger at onset than Nordic patients (p< 0.0006). Non-Nordic patients had a lower number of daily insulin bolus injections and higher daily insulin doses compared to their Nordic peers. Patients of non-Nordic origin had slightly higher HbA1c levels (0.6-2.9 mmol/mol, p< 0.001) and, with the exception of Norway, were less frequently treated with CSII (p= 0.002) after adjusting for confounders. Conclusions: The reported differences in glycemic regulation between Nordic and non-Nordic type 1 diabetes children and adolescents in four Nordic countries are diminutive, but persist after accounting for treatment intensity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-527
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • Denmark
  • ethnicity
  • Iceland
  • Nordic
  • Norway
  • population register
  • Sweden
  • treatment
  • type 1 diabetes


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