"While generally we don't see heart attack and stroke in teenagers, we know that what we see in teenagers lays the groundwork for later in life," Wadwa said. "Measurable differences in these factors at such a young age puts them at a higher risk later on in life."
It's not clear, however, whether other factors like obesity could explain the risk factors, he said.
For pediatricians, the study shows the importance of keeping close track of diabetic teens, and urging a healthy diet, exercise and medication if necessary, Wadwa said.
But Zonszein said the usefulness of the study is limited because it doesn't provide a new message. However, he added, it does offer valid advice about the importance of a healthy diet, proper exercise and control of blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The study was scheduled to be released Monday at an American Diabetes Association meeting in San Diego. Experts note that research presented at meetings is considered preliminary because it has not been subjected to the rigorous scrutiny required for publication in a medical journal.
The American Diabetes Association has more on type 1 diabetes.
SOURCES: R. Paul Wadwa, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver; Joel Zonszein, M.D., professor of clinical medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; June 27, 2011, presentation, American Diabetes Association, Scientific Sessions, San Diego
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