QTc Interval Prolongation Is Independently Associated with Severe Hypoglycemic Attacks in Type 1 Diabetes from the EURODIAB IDDM Complications Study*

  1. Graziella Bruno, MD1
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Turin, Italy
  2. 2National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, U.K.
  3. 3Epidemiology Research Group, Steno Diabetes Center, Gentofte, Denmark
  4. 4Department of Epidemiology and Public-Health, Royal Free and University College London, Medical School, London, U.K.
  1. Corresponding author: Gabriella Gruden, gabriella.gruden{at}


OBJECTIVE Our aim was to assess whether severe hypoglycemic attacks were cross-sectionally associated with abnormalities of the QTc interval in type 1 diabetic patients.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS The study included 3,248 type 1 diabetic patients from the EURODIAB IDDM Complications Study. Severe hypoglycemia was defined as an attack serious enough to require the help of another person. A corrected QTc interval (QTc) >0.44 s was considered abnormally prolonged.

RESULTS Nineteen percent of patients declared one to two attacks, and 13.2% of patients had three or more attacks. Prevalence of QTc prolongation was greater in patients who experienced three or more hypoglycemic attacks. Logistic regression analysis showed that the frequency of severe hypoglycemia was independently associated with QTc prolongation, even after adjustment for diabetes complications including autonomic neuropathy (odds ratio 1.27, 95% CI 1.02–1.58).

CONCLUSIONS We have provided evidence that severe hypoglycemic attacks are independently associated with a prolonged QTc interval in type 1 diabetic patients from the EURODIAB IDDM Complications Study.

  • Received September 8, 2011.
  • Accepted October 17, 2011.

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  1. Diabetes Care
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