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The incidence of hypoglycaemia in children with type 1 diabetes and treated asthma

By N.P. Wright and J.K.H. Wales


AIMS: To investigate whether treatment of coexisting asthma has any effect on the incidence of hypoglycaemia and on glycaemic control in children with type 1 diabetes. \ud \ud METHODS: An observational study of children attending the paediatric diabetes clinics of five hospitals in the North Trent Region. Information on the frequency of hypoglycaemia in the preceding three months, treatment for asthma, and the individual’s latest HbA1c, was recorded when they attended for review. \ud \ud RESULTS: Data were collected on 226 children, of whom 27 (12%) had treated asthma. Only 11/27 children with asthma were taking their prescribed inhaled steroids. All used ß agonists at least once a week. There was a reduction of 20% in the incidence of hypoglycaemia in the diabetic children with treated asthma. Of the children with diabetes and treated asthma, 52% reported an episode of hypoglycaemia in the previous three months compared to 72% of those with only diabetes. There was no difference in the proportion of children experiencing nocturnal or severe hypoglycaemia. Although not significant, those with asthma and diabetes also had better overall control (HbA1c 8.8%) compared to those with diabetes alone (HbA1c 9.3%). \ud \ud CONCLUSIONS: Diabetic children with treated asthma have significantly fewer episodes of hypoglycaemia and better glycaemic control compared to children with diabetes alone. This observation needs further investigation but raises an interesting question. Do the drugs used to treat asthma, in particular ß agonists, have the therapeutic potential to reduce hypoglycaemia and facilitate an improvement in glycaemic control? \u

Year: 2003
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