Study finds link between self-stigma and glycated hemoglobin in people with type 1 diabetes

Individuals with chronic medical conditions may experience self-stigma, or negative beliefs, emotional reactions, and behaviors toward themselves as a result of their illness. New research published in the Journal of Diabetes Research found a link between self-stigma and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) – a marker of blood glucose levels – in adults with type 1 diabetes.

The study included 109 adults in Japan with type 1 diabetes who completed questionnaires that generated scores based on a self-stigma scale. While the findings support an association between self-stigma and suboptimal HbA1c, additional studies are needed to show whether this is a causal relationship.

We focused on this issue through clinical experience with people with type 1 diabetes, whose glycemic management significantly improved through social support in eliminating diabetes-related stigma. Although the finding of an association between self-stigma and HbA1c is significant, further longitudinal research is needed to determine whether self-stigma leads to suboptimal HbA1c. This research supports and emphasizes the importance of eliminating self-stigma in the management of people with type 1 diabetes.”

Yukiko Onishi MD, PhD, Ccorresponding author, Institute of Medical Science, Asahi Life Foundation, Tokyo


Magazine reference:

Hamano, S., et al. (2023) Association of self-stigma with glycated hemoglobin: a single-center, cross-sectional study of adults with type 1 diabetes in Japan. Journal of Diabetes Research.

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