Lower HbA1c Targets Are Associated with Better Metabolic Control

Marlies Van Loocke, Tadej Battelino, Sascha R Tittel, Priya Prahalad, Damla Goksen, Elizabeth Davis, Kristina Casteels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have suggested that clear HbA1c target setting by the diabetes team is associated with HbA1coutcomes in adolescents. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether this finding is consistent in a larger cohort of children from centers participating in the SWEET international diabetes registry. A questionnaire was sent out to 76SWEET centers, of which responses from 53 pediatric centers were included (70%). Descriptive outcomes were presented as median with lower and upper quartile. The association between the centers’ target HbA1c and mean outcome HbA1c was calculated using linear regression adjusted for age, diabetes duration, sex, and gross domestic product. Median age of the children in the studied centers (n = 35,483) was 13.3 [12.6–14.6] years (49% female). Of the 53 centers, 13.2% reported an HbA1c target between 6.0 and 6.5%, 32.1% had a target between ≥ 6.0 and 7.0%,18.9% between ≥ 7.0 and 7.5%, and 3.8% between ≥ 7.5 and 8.5%. No specific target value was reported by 32.1% of all centers. Median HbA1c across all centers was 7.9 [7.6–8.3] %. Adjusted regression analysis showed a positive association between HbA1c outcome and target HbA1c (p = 0.005).Conclusions: This international study demonstrated that a lower target for HbA1c was associated with better metabolic control. It is unclear whether low target values result in better metabolic control, or lower HbA1c values actually result in more ambitious target values. This target setting could contribute to the differences in HbA1c values between centers and could be an approach for improving metabolic outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1513–1520
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


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