Risk of recurrent severe hypoglycemia remains associated with a past history of severe hypoglycemia up to 4 years: Results from a large prospective contemporary pediatric cohort of the DPV initiative.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES

In a contemporary cohort of youth with type 1 diabetes, we examined the interval between episodes of severe hypoglycemia (SH) as a risk factor for recurrent SH or hypoglycemic coma (HC).

METHODS

This was a large longitudinal observational study. Using the DPV Diabetes Prospective follow-up data, we analyzed frequency and timing of recurrent SH (defined as requiring assistance from another person) and HC (loss of consciousness or seizures) in 14 177 youths with type 1 diabetes aged <20 years and at least 5 years of follow-up.

RESULTS

Among 14 177 patients with type 1 diabetes, 72% (90%) had no, 14% (6.8%) had 1 and 14% (3.2%) >1 SH (HC). SH or HC in the last year of observation was highest with SH in the previous year (odds ratio [OR] 4.7 [CI 4.0-5.5]/4.6 [CI 3.6-6.0]), but remained elevated even 4 years after an episode (OR 2.0 [CI 1.6-2.7]/2.2 [CI 1.5-3.1]). The proportion of patients who experienced SH or HC during the last year of observation was highest with SH/HC recorded during the previous year (23% for SH and 13% for HC) and lowest in those with no event (4.6% for SH and 2% for HC) in the initial 4 years of observation.

CONCLUSIONS

Even 4 years after an episode of SH/HC, risk for SH/HC remains higher compared to children who never experienced SH/HC. Clinicians should continue to regularly track hypoglycemia history at every visit, adjust diabetes education and therapy in order to avoid recurrences.

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