Prevalence of nocturnal hypoglycemia in pediatric type 1 diabetes: a pilot study using continuous glucose monitoring

J Pediatr. 2011 Aug;159(2):297-302.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.01.064. Epub 2011 Mar 17.


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of nocturnal hypoglycemia (NH) in pediatric type 1 diabetes, to compare the prevalence of NH detected by continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and self-monitored blood glucose (SMBG), and to compare the prevalence of NH using different thresholds.

Study design: Twenty-five patients wore a continuous glucose monitor for 3 nights and also conducted SMBG. NH was defined with three thresholds: (1) <3.9 mmol/L; (2) <3.3 mmol/L; and (3) <2.9 mmol/L.

Results: The prevalence of NH with CGM was 68%, 52%, and 48% with the different thresholds. Of the 35 episodes of NH detected by CGM, 25 were not symptomatic and therefore not detected by SMBG. The mean difference in blood glucose between CGM and SMBG was -0.18 mmol/L (P = .35).

Conclusions: This pilot study suggests that the prevalence of NH in pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes with conventional treatment may be as high as 68%, although this varied according to the method of detection and threshold used. Patients may benefit from CGM to detect asymptomatic NH.

Trial registration: NCT00542334.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring / methods*
  • Child
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / blood
  • Hypoglycemia / epidemiology*
  • Hypoglycemia / etiology
  • Male
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose

Associated data