Research Round Up
Research Round Up - hypoglycemia and the cardiovascular system, hypoglycemia education, nocturnal hypoglycemia, and hypoglycemia in children/adolescents
Martin Gilmour of the Diabetic Hypoglycemia Editorial Team
Diabetic Hypoglycemia May 2009, Volume 2, Issue 1: page 11-13
Hypoglycemia and the cardiovascular system
Some recent papers have investigated hypoglycemia and the cardiovascular system; one evaluating cardiac arrhythmia and nocturnal hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes, one studying individual variability to hypoglycemia in adolescents with type 1 diabetes and the third testing the hypothesis that prior exposure to hypoglycemia in individuals with type 2 diabetes leads to impaired cardiovascular autonomic function.
In the first of these papers, Gill et al. investigated the phenomenon of sudden nocturnal death, also known as the ‘dead in bed’ syndrome, in patients with type 1 diabetes. While the etiology of this phenomenon remains unknown, one hypothesis suggests that nocturnal hypoglycemia may be an important factor. Controlled hypoglycemia in non-diabetic and type 1 diabetic subjects has been shown to increase the ECG QT interval, and a prolonged QT interval is associated with a variety of ventricular arrhythmias. This has led to the hypothesis that the ‘dead in bed’ syndrome may result from a hypoglycemia-induced ventricular arrhythmia.