Hypoglycemia prediction and detection using optimal estimation

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2005 Feb;7(1):3-14. doi: 10.1089/dia.2005.7.3.


Patients with diabetes play with a double-edged sword when it comes to deciding glucose and A1c target levels. On the one side, tight control has been shown to be crucial in avoiding long-term complications; on the other, tighter control leads to an increased risk of iatrogenic hypoglycemia, which is compounded when hypoglycemia unawareness sets in. Development of continuous glucose monitoring systems has led to the possibility of being able not only to detect hypoglycemic episodes, but to make predictions based on trends that would allow the patient to take preemptive action to entirely avoid the condition. Using an optimal estimation theory approach to hypoglycemia prediction, we demonstrate the effect of measurement sampling frequency, threshold level, and prediction horizon on the sensitivity and specificity of the predictions. We discuss how optimal estimators can be tuned to trade-off the false alarm rate with the rate of missed predicted hypoglycemic episodes. We also suggest the use of different alarm levels as a function of current and future estimates of glucose and the hypoglycemic threshold and prediction horizon.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Awareness*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / diagnosis*
  • Hypoglycemia / physiopathology*
  • Hypoglycemia / prevention & control
  • Kinetics


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A