Participation in Extracurricular Activities May Help Improve Diabetes Control

Presentation Number: SUN 633
Date of Presentation: April 2nd, 2017

Vanessa Davis*1, Raj C Shah2, Yaa Serwaa Karikari3, Nonye C Opara4, Jean Aschkenasy4 and Miheret Yitayew5
1Stroger Hospital, Chicago, IL, 2RUSH, Chicago, IL, 3Hope Children Hospital, 4J H Stroger Hospital of Cook County, 5Maimonides Medical Center



To establish an association between pediatric diabetes control and participation in extracurricular activities


Racial disparity in diabetes control exist. Non-Hispanic Whites tend to have lower A1c than African American (AA) and Hispanic youth. Studies examining the factors associated with the health disparities in diabetes control in children and adolescents are limited. Extracurricular activities may help improve the self-efficacy of youth with diabetes by allowing them to demonstrate skills in an area other than diabetes management. 

This study examined whether participation in extracurricular activities was associated with better pediatric diabetes control


Youth with diabetes were recruited at Slam Dunk for Diabetes Camp (August 2015) and Fantus Diabetes Clinic (September to March 2016). Demographic information and participation in extracurricular activities were documented. Diabetes control was assessed using hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) obtained from camp physicals or clinic records. All patients had been diagnosed with diabetes for at least one year. SAS 9.4 was used to analyze the data. 


The mean A1c for Non-Hispanic Whites was 8.0% compared to 9.5% for Hispanics and AAs combined (p=0.01). 25 youth who reported participation in extracurricular activities had a lower mean HbA1c (8.6%) than those who did not report participation in extracurricular activities (A1c 10.3%) (p = 0.03). Youth who reported participation in extracurricular activities had lower mean A1c. Physical activity in itself may help to improve diabetes control by increasing glucose uptake and usage in muscles and by improving insulin resistance. Involvement in extracurricular activities may give youth with diabetes the feeling of being “normal” so helping to take their minds off their diabetes. Increasing extracurricular activities in AA and Hispanic youth as an intervention for reducing health disparities in diabetes control requires further research.


Nothing to Disclose: VD, RCS, YSK, NCO, JA, MY