Impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia in women with type 1 diabetes in pregnancy: Hypoglycaemia fear, glycaemic and pregnancy outcomes

Jasmine Bahrami, George Tomlinson, Helen R. Murphy, Denice S. Feig, The CONCEPTT Collaborative Group

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Aims: To examine maternal fear of hypoglycaemia, glycaemia and pregnancy outcomes in women with impaired and normal awareness of hypoglycaemia. Methods: A pre-planned sub-study of 214 pregnant women with type 1 diabetes who participated in the CONCEPTT trial. Participants completed hypoglycaemia fear surveys (HFS-II) at baseline. Logistic regression and Poisson regression analyses were used to obtain an adjusted estimate for the rate ratio relating awareness to the number of severe hypoglycaemic episodes, and for several neonatal outcomes in relation to the total HFS-II score. The role of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) use was examined. Results: Overall, 30% of participants reported impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia (n = 64). Women with impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia had more episodes of severe hypoglycaemia (mean 0.44 vs. 0.08, p < 0.001) (12–34 weeks gestation) and scored higher on the HFS-II scale (43.7 vs. 36.0, p 0.008), indicating more fear of hypoglycaemia. They spent more time below range (CGM <3.5 mmol/L) and exhibited more glycaemic variability at 12 weeks gestation. Higher overall HFS-II scores were associated with a higher risk of maternal severe hypoglycaemia episodes (Rate Ratio 1.78, 95% CI 1.39–2.27). Women with impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia had less maternal weight gain but there were no differences in neonatal outcomes between women with impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia and normal hypoglycaemia awareness. Higher HFS-II scores were associated with more nephropathy (Odds Ratio 1.91, 95% CI 1.06–3.4). CGM use after 12 weeks was not associated with the number of episodes of severe hypoglycaemia (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.49–1.15; p = 0.18). Conclusions: In pregnant women with type 1 diabetes, impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia is associated with more maternal severe hypoglycaemia episodes and more fear of hypoglycaemia. Having impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia and/or fear of hypoglycaemia should alert clinicians to this increased risk. Reassuringly, there was no increase in adverse neonatal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14789
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number5
Early online date14 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

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