Individuals with chronic medical conditions may experience self-stigma, or negative beliefs, emotional reactions, and behaviors towards themselves as a result of their illness. New research published in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation found a link between self-stigma and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c)-;a marker of blood glucose levels-;in adults with type 1 diabetes.
The study included 109 adults in Japan with type 1 diabetes who completed questionnaires that generated scores based on a self-stigma scale. Although the findings support a link between self-stigma and sub-optimal HbA1c, additional studies are needed to show whether this is a causal relationship.
We focused on this issue through clinical experiences with people with type 1 diabetes, whose glycemic management improved markedly by social supports of eliminating diabetes-related stigma. Although the finding of an association between self-stigma and HbA1c is significant, further longitudinal research is required to determine whether self-stigma leads to sub-optimal HbA1c. This research does support and highlight the importance of eliminating self-stigma when treating people with type 1 diabetes."
Yukiko Onishi MD, PhD, Corresponding Author, Institute of Medical Science, Asahi Life Foundation, Tokyo
Hamano, S., et al. (2023) Association of self-stigma with glycated hemoglobin: A single-center, cross-sectional study of adults with type 1 diabetes in Japan. Journal of Diabetes Investigation. doi.org/10.1111/jdi.13963.