Fear of hypoglycemia: relationship to physical and psychological symptoms in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Health Psychol. 1992;11(2):135-8. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.11.2.135.


Among diabetic patients, experience with hypoglycemia ranges from the unpleasant to the life threatening. The aversiveness of these episodes often results in fear. To examine the impact of hypoglycemia on fear, 69 patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus completed the Behavior and Worry subscales of the Hypoglycemia Fear Survey along with measures of psychological symptoms, perceived stress, risk of future hypoglycemic episodes, and glycosylated hemoglobin. Behavior and Worry scores were positively related to psychological symptoms, perceived stress, and previous experiences with hypoglycemia. Fear was unrelated to glycosylated hemoglobin but was significantly higher for patients who had greater variability and lower mean daily blood glucose.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Fear*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / complications
  • Hypoglycemia / psychology*
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin