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Iowa Gambling Task Performance Prospectively Predicts Changes in Glycemic Control among Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes

  • Yana Suchy (a1), Tara L. Queen (a1), Bryce Huntbach (a1), Deborah J. Wiebe (a2), Sara L. Turner (a1), Jonathan Butner (a1), Caitlin S. Kelly (a1), Perrin C. White (a3), Mary Murray (a4), Michael Swinyard (a5) and Cynthia A. Berg (a1)...


Objectives: Good glycemic control is an important goal of diabetes management. Late adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are at risk for poor glycemic control as they move into young adulthood. For a subset of these patients, this dysregulation is extreme, placing them at risk for life-threatening health complications and permanent cognitive declines. The present study examined whether deficiency in emotional decision making (as measured by the Iowa Gambling Task; IGT) among teens with T1D may represent a neurocognitive risk factor for subsequent glycemic dysregulation. Methods: As part of a larger longitudinal study, a total of 241 high-school seniors (147 females, 94 males) diagnosed with T1D underwent baseline assessment that included the IGT. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which reflects glycemic control over the course of the past 2 to 3 months, was also assessed at baseline. Of the 241,189 (127 females, 62 males, mean age=17.76, mean HbA1c=8.11) completed HbA1c measurement 1 year later. Results: Baseline IGT performance in the impaired range (per norms) was associated with greater dysregulation in glycemic control 1 year later, as evidenced by an average increase in HbA1c of 2%. Those with normal IGT scores (per norms) exhibited a more moderate increase in glycemic control, with an HbA1c increase of 0.7%. Several IGT scoring approaches were compared, showing that the total scores collapsed across all trials was most sensitive to change in glycemic control. Conclusions: IGT assessment offers promise as a tool for identifying late adolescents at increased risk for glycemic dysregulation. (JINS, 2017, 23, 204–213)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Yana Suchy, Department of Psychology, 380 S. 1530 E., Salt Lake City, UT 84112. E-mail:


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Iowa Gambling Task Performance Prospectively Predicts Changes in Glycemic Control among Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes

  • Yana Suchy (a1), Tara L. Queen (a1), Bryce Huntbach (a1), Deborah J. Wiebe (a2), Sara L. Turner (a1), Jonathan Butner (a1), Caitlin S. Kelly (a1), Perrin C. White (a3), Mary Murray (a4), Michael Swinyard (a5) and Cynthia A. Berg (a1)...


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