I've seen several posts about how the math behind diabetes should be perfect, or that it is difficult to manage even though we know so much about it as patients. I came across an article recently that, although the participants were all type 2 diabetics, might generalize to type 1's. Researchers measured lots of demographic information (age, gender, occupation, etc.), and found no relationship between any of these variables to adherence (doing what you are supposed to) or glycemic control (your blood sugar levels). They also found that even when participants could give facts about diabetes (eating sugar raises blood sugar), they could not necessarily transfer that knowledge to an application (you just did X, Y, and Z, how do you control your sugar?). Interestingly, while some things were related to increased adherence, the only variable related to improved blood sugars was the ability to detect problems (using more ways to identify irregular blood sugars).
This adds support to the common belief that some people have an easier time managing their diabetes even if they do not apply themselves as rigorously. It also suggests focusing on detecting irregular bg might be the best way to improve control. Perhaps most interesting (because this is relevant to my field), the method used by researchers was similar to methods used with field experts such as air traffic controllers, nuclear power plant operators, software experts, or fighter pilots, suggesting that treating/training diabetics in a similar manner may improve control. If anyone can access the article, check it out:
Lippa, K. D., Klein, H. A., & Shalin, V. L. (2008). Everyday expertise: Cognitive demands in diabetes self-management. Human Factors, 50(1), 112-120.