Drivers on insulin may experience severe hypoglycemia while driving: Study
A recent study found that Insulin treated drivers experience hypoglycemia or sudden unexpected fall of blood sugar while driving. The study was published in the Journal 'Journal of Patient Safety' 2020.
In patients receiving insulin Hypoglycemia is a common occurrence .It needs immediate treatment when blood sugar levels are low. For many people, a fasting blood sugar of 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.9 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), or below should serve as an alert for hypoglycemia.
The study was conducted to investigate a potential daily-life concern for patients with diabetes hypoglycemia while driving by (1) estimating their incidence in insulin-treated drivers, (2) determining factors associated with their occurrence, and (3) analyzing patients' behavior regarding prevention of hypoglycemia.
Patients with Diabetes who take insulin are at increased risk of falls and accidents. The traumatic events are majorly responsible for hospital administration. Researchers from University Montpellier conducted a study to investigate a potential daily-life concern for patients with diabetes hypoglycemia while driving. They estimated the incidence of hypoglycemia in insulin-treated drivers, determined factors associated with the occurrence, and analysed patients' behavior regarding prevention of sudden fall of blood sugar.
The researchers conducted an observational study from November 2013 to May 2018 in the endocrinology-diabetology-nutrition department of the university hospital. They included all patients who are treated for diabetes and older than 18 years who are admitted in the hospital. A questionnaire was provided to assess attitudes, knowledge, and consequences of hypoglycemia in insulin-treated patients who regularly drive.
The findings of the study were:
• 233 insulin-treated drivers included were included in the study.
• Of these 45 (19%) self-reported at least 1 hypoglycemia while driving in the preceding year.
• Type 1 diabetes and experiences of asymptomatic hypoglycemia were significantly associated with their occurrence.
• Awareness of the treatment of hypoglycemia risk because of information provided by a medical specialist was also but non significantly associated with hypoglycemia while driving.
• Forty-one patients (18%) combined those 3 variables, and 20 (49%) of them self-reported hypoglycemia or low blood sugar while driving.
• Thirty-four percent of the patients never carried carbohydrates for correction of low blood sugar.
• Seventy-six percent did not monitor blood sugar level before driving.
Thus, the authors concluded that insulin-treated drivers declared experiencing hypoglycemia while driving and they further also added that collected data of Risk factors identified and prevention should help in better target patient education.
The study "Hypoglycemia While Driving in Insulin-Treated Patients Incidence and Risk Factors" was published in Journal of Patient Safety, 2020.