OBJECTIVE We assessed adulthood cognition in relation to early exposure to severe hypoglycemia (SH).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Sixteen years subsequent to a study of cognitive function in 28 diabetic children and 28 matched control subjects, we reexamined the same subjects with a 96% participation rate. Diabetic subjects were classified as with (n = 9) or without (n = 18) early (≤10 years of age) SH, which was defined as convulsions or loss of consciousness.
RESULTS Overall, cognitive scores were 0.9 SDs lower in subjects with early SH compared with subjects without early SH (P = 0.003). The two diabetic groups particularly differed with respect to problem solving, verbal function, and psychomotor efficiency. Earlier age at first incident of SH was associated with poorer cognition (P for trend = 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS The findings suggest that early exposure to SH may have lasting and clinically relevant effects on cognition.
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- Received March 31, 2010.
- Accepted June 22, 2010.
- © 2010 by the American Diabetes Association.
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