197812 Substance use among diabetic students: Data from the 2007 Philadelphia Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Brian P. Daly, PhD , Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Dawn Eichen , Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Cindy Buchanan, PhD , Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
BACKGROUND: The extant literature indicates that substance abuse in adolescents diagnosed with diabetes is associated with negative health outcomes that include the development of acute and chronic complications. However, less is know about early substance use among this vulnerable population. The objective of this study is to compare rates of substance use, specifically alcohol and marijuana use, among an ethnically diverse set of adolescents with and without diabetes.

METHODS: 2007 Philadelphia Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data were analyzed. Six percent of adolescents (N = 2,502) reported being told by a doctor that they had diabetes. One-way analysis of variance was used to determine differences in reported substance use between groups.

RESULTS: Significant differences were found between groups in reported recent alcohol and marijuana use. Findings indicate that diabetic youth were more likely to report increased recent days drinking and binge drinking, as well as recent days smoking marijuana. Specifically, adolescents with diabetes showed a higher last month prevalence of alcohol consumption, binge drinking, and marijuana use when compared to non-diabetic youth (38.7% vs. 31.9%, p < 0.01; 15.9% vs. 13.7%, p < 0.01; and, 22.4% vs. 17.9%, p < 0.01, respectively). No between group differences were found for lifetime alcohol or marijuana use.

DISCUSSION: These data indicate that Philadelphia youth with diabetes may face significantly greater risk for recent alcohol and marijuana than their non-diabetic peers. Prevention and health promotion programs must focus on drug and alcohol use messages which target and resonate with diabetic youth.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the prevalence of alcohol and marijuana use in a sample of adolescents with and without diabetes. 2. Evaluate the benefit of substance use prevention and health promotion programs for youth with diabetes.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Diabetes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I direct the YRBS in Philadelphia and have written peer-reviewed articles about adolescent health issues and teach a course in health psychology.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.