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Severe hypoglycaemia and its association with psychological well-being in Australian adults with type 1 diabetes attending specialist tertiary clinics

, : Severe hypoglycaemia and its association with psychological well-being in Australian adults with type 1 diabetes attending specialist tertiary clinics. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 103(3): 430-436

To investigate severe hypoglycaemia (SH) in adults with type 1 diabetes and its associations with impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia (IAH), clinical, psychological and socio-demographic factors. Attendees of three specialist diabetes clinics in Melbourne, Australia completed questions about frequency of SH in the past six months; impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia (Gold score); and measures of general emotional well-being (WHO-5), diabetes-specific positive well-being (subscale of W-BQ28), diabetes-related distress (PAID) and fear of hypoglycaemia (HFS). Of 422 participants (mean ± SD age 37.5 ± 15.0 years; 54% women), 78 (18.5%) reported at least one SH event and 86 (20.5%) had IAH. SH and IAH frequencies were similar at all clinics. In total, 194 SH events were reported, with 10 people experiencing 40% of events. Compared with those without SH, participants with SH had longer diabetes duration, were younger at diabetes onset and more likely to have IAH (p<0.01). Those with SH had greater fear of hypoglycaemia and diabetes-related distress, poorer general emotional well-being, and lower diabetes-specific positive well-being, (p<0.01). There were no associations with age, gender, insulin regimen or HbA1c. This study has identified that SH and IAH in Australian adults with type 1 diabetes exist at similar levels to those reported in US and European research. SH was significantly associated with IAH and fear of hypoglycaemia. Assessment of hypoglycaemia, IAH and psychological well-being as part of a routine diabetes clinic visit was well accepted by attendees and enabled identification of those who may benefit from medical, educational or therapeutic interventions.


PMID: 24513121

DOI: 10.1016/j.diabres.2013.12.005

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