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Beliefs Around Hypoglycemia and Their Impacts on Hypoglycemia Outcomes in Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes and High Risks for Hypoglycemia Despite Using Advanced Diabetes Technologies

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posted on 11.01.2022, 18:50 by Yu Kuei Lin, Caroline R. Richardson, Iulia Dobrin, Melissa J. DeJonckheere, Kara Mizokami-Stout, Michael D. Fetters, James E. Aikens, Simon J. Fisher, Wen Ye, Rodica Pop-Busui
Objective: This study aims to: (1) identify the frequency of severe and level 2 hypoglycemia presenting in people with type 1 diabetes using continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMs), including those with concomitant closed-loop insulin pumps, in a clinical practice setting; (2) evaluate the impact of beliefs around hypoglycemia in the development of severe and level 2 hypoglycemia in this population.

Research Design and Methods: A cross-sectional survey study in adults with type 1 diabetes using CGMs >6 months was conducted at a large tertiary academic center. Participant demographics, 6-month severe hypoglycemia history, hypoglycemia beliefs (with the Attitude to Awareness of Hypoglycemia questionnaire) and 4-week CGM glucose data were collected. Statistical analysis was performed to assess the presentation of severe and level 2 hypoglycemia and identify associated risk factors.

Results: A total of 289 participants were recruited (including 257 participants with CGM data within the last 3 months). Of these, 25.6% experienced at least one severe hypoglycemic episode in the last 6 months, and 13.6% presented with ≥1% of time in level 2 hypoglycemia on CGMs. Reporting beliefs about prioritizing hyperglycemia avoidance was associated with severe hypoglycemia development (P<0.001), while having beliefs of minimal concerns for hypoglycemia was associated with spending ≥1% of time in level 2 hypoglycemia (P=0.038).

Conclusions: Despite the use of advanced diabetes technologies, severe and level 2 hypoglycemia continues to occur in people with type 1 diabetes and high hypoglycemia risks. Human factors, including beliefs around hypoglycemia, may remain to impact the effectiveness of glucose self-management.


The current study was supported by the Michigan Center for Clinical and Translational Research Pilot and Feasibility Grant (P30DK092926); Y.K.L was supported by K23DK129724; S.J.F. was supported by R01DK118082; REDCap was supported by NCATS UL1TR00240