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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 4153278, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Breaking the Taboo: Illicit Drug Use among Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

1Department of Pediatrics, Oncology, Hematology and Diabetology, Medical University of Lodz, 91-738 Lodz, Poland
2Department of Studies on Alcoholism and Other Dependencies, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, 02-957 Warsaw, Poland
3Students’ Scientific Circle at the Department of Pediatrics, Oncology, Hematology and Diabetology, Medical University of Lodz, 91-738 Lodz, Poland
4Department of Pediatrics, Diabetology and Endocrinology, Medical University of Gdańsk, 80-211 Gdańsk, Poland

Received 15 July 2015; Revised 11 October 2015; Accepted 18 October 2015

Academic Editor: Andrea Scaramuzza

Copyright © 2016 Anna M. Hogendorf et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The aim of the study was to explore the prevalence of illicit drug use in a group of Polish adolescents with type 1 diabetes (DM1) in comparison with a national cohort of their healthy peers. Methods. Two hundred and nine adolescents with DM1, aged 15–18 years, were studied in 2013 with an anonymous questionnaire prepared for the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD). The control group was a representative sample of 12114 students at the same age who took part in ESPAD in 2011. Metabolic control was regarded as good if self-reported HbA1c was <8% or poor if HbA1c was ≥8%. Results. Lifetime prevalence of illicit drug use was lower among adolescents with DM1 than in the control group [58 (28%) versus 5524 (46%), ]. Cannabis preparations were the most frequently used substances [38 (18.3%) versus 3976 (33.1%), ], followed by tranquilizers, sedatives, and amphetamine. Lifetime and last 12-month use of cannabis were associated with poorer glycemic control (HbA1c ≥ 8%), and 0.02, respectively. Conclusions. Adolescents with DM1 report using illicit drugs to a lesser extent than their healthy peers. The use of cannabis is associated with a poorer metabolic control in teens with DM1.