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Dipping blood sugars cause surprisingly irregular heart rhythms in diabetics
Date:4/28/2014

ively it was occurring overnight and that it was sometimes lasting for several hours. When this occurred, we also saw evidence of prolonged periods of very slow heart rate rhythms in patients.

"While a cause for concern, these slow heart rates were not associated with any very serious heart rhythm disturbances in the study. But the findings suggest that even those on standard insulin therapy who are not aiming for intensive glucose targets should be aware of the risk of running low sugars overnight, particularly if they have known cardiovascular disease."

Previous research has focused on the effects of high blood sugars on patients with diabetes, so more research was needed to understand how low blood sugars in patients with Type 2 diabetes caused irregular heartbeats, Professor Heller emphasised.

"In an older group with a known history of cardiovascular disease this might turn out to be something to be very concerned about, but further investigation is needed to confirm the link between overnight low blood sugar levels and abnormal heart rates that disturb the flow of blood to the heart. If patients are aware they have low blood sugar levels, they can act accordingly, perhaps by checking their blood glucose in the middle of the night every now and then and talking with the doctor to change insulin type or the timing of the dose to minimise the risk of prolonged episodes of hypoglycaemia overnight.

"Clinicians responsible for the care of patients using insulin to treat Type 2 diabetes need to be more aware of the potential for prolonged nocturnal episodes of hypoglycaemia at night. They need to check for it and alter therapy to reduce the risk, especially for those who have known history of cardiovascular disease."


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Contact: Amy Pullan
a.l.pullan@sheffield.ac.uk
01-142-229-859
University of Sheffield
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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