Diabetes Is Not to Blame

Published Online: Saturday, February 1, 2003

Type 1 diabetes, which used to be called ?juvenile diabetes,? has long been associated with deficits in functions such as memory and verbal abilities among schoolchildren. According to a recent study at the University of Iowa, however, diabetes may have been falsely accused.

Researchers examined the standardized test scores, grades, behavior reports, and absences in 244 students between the ages of 8 and 18, each of whom had type 1 diabetes. They also looked at student medical records to note when the students developed the disease.

The evidence indicated that, contrary to previous assumptions, how well students did in school was more closely related to behavior problems and family income than to the seriousness of the child?s diabetes. ?The overall findings suggest the medical variables have less effect on academic achievement than do factors such as [family income] and behavior problems for most children with diabetes,? the study concluded.

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