Insulin-induced lipodystrophy and predisposing factors in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in a tertiary care Egyptian center: Lipohypertrophy in T1DM

Insulin-induced lipodystrophy and predisposing factors in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in a tertiary care Egyptian center

Lipohypertrophy in T1DM


  • Shaymaa Elsayed Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt
  • Ashraf T Soliman Department of Pediatrics, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  • Vincenzo De Sanctis Pediatric and Adolescent Outpatient Clinic, Quisisana Hospital, Ferrara, Italy
  • Dina Fawzy Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt
  • Shaymaa Ahmed Department of Pediatrics, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  • Nada Alaaraj Department of Pediatrics, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar


Insulin, lipohypertrophy, children, adolescents, prevalence, risk factors


Background: Lipodystrophy (LH) is one of the most common complications of subcutaneous insulin injection. Many factors are incriminated in the evolution of LH in children with diabetes type 1 (T1DM). LH may affect insulin absorption in the skin areas involved, resulting in a negative impact on blood glucose levels and glycemic variability. Patients and Methods: We calculated and evaluated the prevalence of LH in relation to possible clinical factors associated with the development of LH in a cohort of children (n =115) with T1DM using insulin pens or syringes and we studied possible predisposing factors including their age, duration of T1DM, injection technique, insulin dose/kg, degree of pain perception, and HbA1c level. Results:  In our cross-sectional study, 84% of patients were using pens for insulin injection and 52.2 % of them were rotating the site of injection on daily basis. 27 % did not experience pain during an injection while 6 % had the worst hurt. 49.5 % had clinically detectable LH. Those with LH had higher HbA1c levels and more unexplained hypoglycemic events compared to those without LH (P: 0.058). The hypertrophied site was related to the preferred site of injection which was the arms in 71.9 % of the cases. Children who had LH were older with a longer duration of T1DM, rotating sites of injection less frequently, and were more frequently reusing needles compared to children without LH (P: < 0.05). Conclusion: Improper insulin injection technique, older age, and longer duration of T1DM were associated with LH. Proper education of patients and their parents must include correct injection techniques, rotating injection sites, and minimal reuse of needles.


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How to Cite

Elsayed S, Soliman AT, De Sanctis V, Fawzy D, Ahmed S, Alaaraj N. Insulin-induced lipodystrophy and predisposing factors in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in a tertiary care Egyptian center: Lipohypertrophy in T1DM. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2023 Jun. 14 [cited 2024 Jul. 19];94(3):e2023078. Available from: