Real-life data of hypoglycemic events in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes

BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2023 Sep;11(5):e003485. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2023-003485.


Introduction: Hypoglycemia composes an always present risk in the treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and can be a fatal complication. Many studies on hypoglycemic events are based on self-reported data or focused on the aggregated time below range. We have processed continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) data in children and adolescents with T1D in order to examine all occurring hypoglycemic events.

Research design and methods: CGM data (mean 168±3 days) from 214 children and adolescents with T1D were analyzed using computer-based algorithms. Patients were divided into three groups based on estimated HbA1c (eHbA1c): (1) ≤48 mmol/mol (n=58); (2) 49-64 mmol/mol (n=113); (3) ≥65 mmol/mol (n=43). The groups were compared concerning descriptive data and CGM metrics with emphasis on the frequency of hypoglycemic events.

Results: Only one self-reported event of severe hypoglycemia was registered, while 54 390 hypoglycemic events (<3.9 mmol/L (<70 mg/dL)) were identified from CGM data out of which 11 740 were serious (<3.0 mmol/L (<54 mg/dL)). On average there were 1.5±0.1 hypoglycemic events per 24 hours out of which 1.2±0.1 were mild (3.0-3.9 mmol/L) and 0.3±0.02 serious. Group 1 had a higher frequency of both total and mild hypoglycemic events compared with both groups 2 and 3. However, the frequency of serious hypoglycemic events was similar in all groups. A negative correlation was observed for eHbA1c and total daily and mild hypoglycemic events (r=-0.57 and r=-0.66, respectively, p<0.0001), whereas for serious hypoglycemic events there was only a borderline significance (r=-0.13, p=0.05).

Conclusions: This study shows that hypoglycemic events are a frequent phenomenon in children and adolescents with T1D, occurring regardless of overall metabolic control. Although patients with an HbA1c ≤48 mmol/mol had a higher frequency of mild hypoglycemic events there was no increase in serious hypoglycemic events.

Keywords: continuous glucose monitoring; diabetes mellitus, type 1; hypoglycemia; pediatrics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / epidemiology
  • Glycated Hemoglobin
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia* / chemically induced
  • Hypoglycemia* / epidemiology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Glycated Hemoglobin
  • Blood Glucose