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Diabetes shouldn't deter young athletes: York U study
Date:7/14/2010

TORONTO, July 15, 2010 A new study led by York University researchers finds that young athletes with Type 1 diabetes may experience a marked decrease in performance as a result of their blood sugar levels.

The study, published in the International Journal of Pediatrics, reports that participants' athletic prowess was sapped by low blood glucose, a condition known as hypoglycemia. Their cognitive abilities also declined as a result.

"Physical activity itself is unfortunately one of the factors that can cause this dip in blood sugar to occur," says lead researcher Michael Riddell, associate professor in York's School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health.

"Parents tend to get quite concerned about this, understandably so," says Riddell, who was diagnosed with the disease at age 14 and regularly engages in competitive sports. "They wonder, 'should I have my child enrolled in sports at all? Is vigorous activity safe?' Our results show that those with diabetes can compete on equal ground, provided they learn to manage their condition."

The study is the first to examine these interactions in a real-life setting. Researchers outfitted participants with 24-7 glucose monitors during a week-long diabetes sports camp at York University, testing their skills in tennis, basketball or soccer at various times during the day and recording blood sugar levels. Participants, who ranged in age from 6 to 17, were even monitored as they slept using this new technology. Data for the study was recorded during last summer's camp; it will run again this year starting July 19.

Researchers found that sport skill performance was highest when blood glucose values were in a "normal" glycemic range. During hyperglycemia or elevated blood sugar results were only slightly reduced. This occurred nearly universally across all participants, however results suggest the degree to which one's sport performance deteriorates depends on the i
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Contact: Melissa Hughes
mehughes@yorku.ca
416-736-2100 x22097
York University
Source:Eurekalert

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