Perceived symptoms of hypoglycaemia in elderly type 2 diabetic patients treated with insulin

A. J. Jaap (Lead / Corresponding author), G. C. Jones, R. J. McCrimmon, I. J. Deary, B. M. Frier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    133 Citations (Scopus)


    Elderly insulin-treated diabetic patients have a high risk of severe hypoglycaemia, yet their hypoglycaemic symptom profile has attracted little research. In this study, the frequency and intensity of symptoms of hypoglycaemia were recorded using a validated questionnaire in 132 insulin-treated diabetic patients, aged 70 years or more. Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to discover the factorial structure of the symptoms. Lightheadedness and unsteadiness were prominent symptoms in the elderly patients. PCA suggested three separate groups of symptoms: (1) those related specifically to impairment of co-ordination and articulation; (2) more general neuroglycopenic symptoms, and (3) autonomic symptoms. The frequency and classification of hypoglycaemic symptoms in this elderly population is different from those seen in younger diabetic patients treated with insulin. Neurological symptoms of hypoglycaemia were more commonly reported and may be misinterpreted as features of cerebrovascular disease. Health professionals and carers involved in the treatment and education of diabetic patients should be aware of the age-specific differences in hypoglycaemic symptoms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)398-401
    Number of pages4
    JournalDiabetic Medicine
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 1998


    Dive into the research topics of 'Perceived symptoms of hypoglycaemia in elderly type 2 diabetic patients treated with insulin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this