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December 5, 1999


Question from North Babylon, New York, USA:

I am the mother of a 12 year old son diagnosed with Type 1 four years ago. Is there some type of scale for age or body weight in relation to amount of insulin to be given or is totally individualized and based on readings? I am mostly referring to long acting N.


Generally speaking, for a child with established diabetes (that is, beyond the honeymoon phase) and before puberty, the insulin requirement is of the order of 0.9 to 1.0 units per kilogram per day. However, when puberty begins, this requirement can rise markedly to as much as 1.7 units/kg. You are absolutely correct, however, to appreciate that what matters is the results and so insulin type and doses have to be individually tailored.