To assess burden and clinical features of type 1 diabetes in migrant with respect to Italian children. Prevalent children with type 1 diabetes were identified through a multicenter study, including 46 pediatric outpatients diabetic clinics. A nested case-control study was also performed, comparing features at diabetes onset and after 1 year of insulin treatment in 84 migrants and 75 Italian children with onset in 2011, matched for age and sex. Out of 7,812 children cared for by pediatric diabetologists, 761 (10%) were migrant and 548 of them were born in Italy. Age at diagnosis was lower in migrants born in Italy (5.1 years, interquartile range (IQR) 2.2-7.7) than in those born in their original countries (7.8 years, IQR 5.3-10.3) and in Italians (9.8 years, IQR 5.9-13.0, p < 0.001). At diabetes onset, migrants had lower frequencies of positivities of markers of β-cell autoimmunity (96 vs. 99.5%, p < 0.01), higher values of weight loss (11 vs. 7%, p < 0.01), HbA1c (70 vs. 58 mmol/mol, p < 0.001), and insulin requirement (0.70 ± 0.03 vs. 0.63 ± 0.10 UI/kg/die, p = 0.05) and lower levels of 25-OH vitamin D3 (15.0 ± 2.8 vs. 20.8 ± 1.3, p = 0.03). Moreover, they experienced higher frequencies of hospitalizations during the first year of disease (19.2 vs. 2.7%, p < 0.001). Burden of type 1 diabetes in migrant children is increasing in Italy, with younger age at onset and different clinical features than in Italian children. Higher hospitalization rates and poorer glycemic control over the first year underline that approach to diabetes care in migrants needs to be improved.
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