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From Peterborough, Ontario, Canada:

My three year old son is being tested this week for diabetes. Needless to say my wife and I are terrified of the pending results. What is the mortality rate of young children with diabetes? Will it still be possible for him to lead a full and normal life?

I am sorry for my ignorance on this subject. I guess you never really think about these things until they affect a loved one.


I expect that by now you have had the results of the tests. I hope they were negative, but in case they were not, you should know that a single abnormal fasting blood sugar in a three year old is not diagnostic because the stress of sample taking, strange surroundings and a worried mother and father can easily cause this. You need additional evidence including a second elevated value, and supportive evidence from glucosuria, an elevated hemoglobin A1c test, and best of all a positive antibody test, even if it is just the screening islet cell antibodies.

However, if the diagnosis has been made, you should realise that mortality is no longer a problem. It is true that there are very occasional losses from cerebral edema in severe DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis], but, as this has come to be recognised and treated, it has come to be very rare indeed. The hard task, especially to begin with, is to learn to apply all the intricacies of achieving good control of blood sugars. New insulins and new ways of measuring blood sugars have made this a lot easier, and if at all possible, you need the help of a diabetes team that has not only a doctor; but a dietitian, a nurse educator and a medical social worker and where someone is accessible on call all the time. You can get a lot of additional support from this website and from one of the many good manuals. Finally, yes of course, children with diabetes can expect to live a normal life.


Original posting 15 Mar 2002
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:32
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