Article Title

An analysis of the utilisation of medical identification jewellery among children and young adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus in Australia

Abstract

Aims: People with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) are at risk of life-threatening illness. Medical jewellery is recommended for emergencies, but its uptake is unknown. This study assessed the use of medical jewellery among people with T1DM aged 0–24 years in Australia.

Methods: A cross sectional analysis of subscription data to the largest medical identification jewellery service in Australia was analysed by age, sex and geographic location using Australian population data from 2018.

Results: There were 1599 people with T1DM aged 0–24 in the database, but only 1061 had an active subscription, corresponding to an active subscription rate of 13.28/100,000 population or ~5% of the estimated patient population. Half of the active subscribers were male (543/1061, 51/3%). The average age of active subscribers was 17; very few (n = 12, 1.1%) were aged less than 5; and the highest number (n = 141, 39%) was in the 20–24 age group. Active subscription rates varied significantly by geographic location. 88.4% of active subscribers had a diagnosis of T1DM or equivalent inscribed on their emblem, while engraved instructions for management in an emergency were only included in 1.8% of records (n = 19).

Conclusions: Medical jewellery subscription rates were lower than expected; increased with age; and varied significantly by state/territory. The use of medical identification jewellery may be limited by the lack of suitable engraved instructions for use in an emergency. Factors leading to low use should be addressed.

Keywords

diabetes, diabetes mellitus, hypoglycaemia, hyperglycaemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, medical identification jewellery

Link to Publisher Version (URL)

10.1007/s12020-022-03224-3

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