Motor activity during asymptomatic nocturnal hypoglycemia in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus
- Cite this article as:
- Radan, I., Rajer, E., Uršič Bratina, N. et al. Acta Diabetol (2004) 41: 33. doi:10.1007/s00592-004-0141-3
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Nocturnal hypoglycemia is reported in 13%–56% of adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. It may be asymptomatic in more than 50% of patients. No noninvasive method for detecting asymptomatic nocturnal hypoglycemia (ANH) has so far proven successful. The aim of the present study was to evaluate quantitative changes of motor activity by actigraphy during episodes of ANH in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. A total of 18 patients aged 10–16 years with a history of ANH were investigated. Blood was sampled at half-hourly intervals between 22.30 and 06.00 hours with a micropump, and an actigraph was fastened to the right wrist. Blood glucose concentrations were measured and compared to motor activity. Nocturnal hypoglycemia was recorded in 10 patients (55%), with blood glucose during periods of hypoglycemia of 3.00+0.17 mmol/l (range, 1.2–3.4 mmol/l), and duration of hypoglycemia of 1.95+1.34 hours (range, 0.5–5.0 hours). All periods of hypoglycemia were clinically asymptomatic. Regression analysis revealed a statistically significant linear correlation (p=0.03) between blood glucose concentration and the respective 30-min activity counts. Activity counts in patients with nocturnal hypoglycemia were significantly (ANOVA, p<0.02) higher than in patients with normoglycemia. We conclude that low blood glucose was significantly correlated with an increase in motor activity as detected by actigraphy. This implies the possibility of noninvasive screening of asymptomatic nocturnal hypoglycemia.