Objective: Circulating glucose may relate to affective and physical feeling states reflective of emotional disorder symptoms. No prior studies have investigated within-day associations between glucose and subsequent affective and physical feeling states (positive affect, negative affect, and fatigue) as they occur naturally among healthy adolescents; this pilot study assessed these associations by combining data collected from ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and continuous glucose monitors (CGM).
Methods: Participants (N = 15, mean age = 13.1[±1.0] years, 66.7% female, 40.0% Hispanic, 66.7% healthy weight) wore a CGM for 7-14 days. Simultaneously, participants reported on their current positive affect, negative affect, and fatigue randomly during specified windows up to 7 times daily via EMA. CGM-measured mean interstitial glucose was calculated during the time windows (mean minutes = 122.5[±47.3]) leading up to each EMA prompt. Multilevel models assessed within-subject (WS) associations between mean interstitial glucose since the previous EMA prompt and EMA-reported affective and physical feeling states at the current prompt.
Results: Participants provided 532 interstitial glucose-matched EMA reports of affective and physical feeling states. During intervals when interstitial glucose was higher than one's usual, higher positive affect (WS β = 0.01, p < .0001, f2 = 0.02) and lower fatigue (WS β = -0.01, p < .0001, f2 = 0.09) were subsequently reported. Interstitial glucose was unrelated to negative affect (WS β = -0.002, p = .10, f2 = 0.01). Associations were weakened, but remained significant following further adjustment for time of day.
Conclusions: Though effect sizes were small, within-person variations in interstitial glucose may relate to subsequent affective and physical feeling states among healthy youth. Investigations using similar methodologies in larger, more diverse samples are warranted.
Keywords: Blood glucose; Mood; Real-time; Within-subject; Youth.
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