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A Study on Impaired Awareness of Hypoglycaemia in Type 1 Diabetes Patients in a Tertiary Care Centre in Singapore
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  • Marvin Chua,
  • Ester Yeoh,
  • Sharon Fun,
  • Angela Koh
Marvin Chua
Sengkang General Hospital

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ester Yeoh
Admiralty Medical Centre
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Sharon Fun
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
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Angela Koh
Sengkang General Hospital
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Background: This study aims to establish the frequency of severe hypoglycaemia and impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia (IAH) in Type 1 diabetes (T1D) patients in Singapore. We evaluate the utility of the Gold and Clarke scores as screening tools for IAH, and assess the effects of diabetes self-management practices and education in reducing IAH. Methods: This is an observational study of 131 subjects with T1D at a regional hospital, which included review of medical records, self-administered questionnaires and a prospective 4 week period of self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG). Results: The frequency of clinically significant hypoglycaemia (blood glucose < 3 mmol/L) during the 4 week period of SMBG was 38.8%, while the frequency of severe hypoglycaemia over the last one year was 22.5%. Based on the Gold score and Clarke score, 28.3% and 24.6% of subjects respectively had IAH. The Clarke score was associated with increased frequency of clinically significant hypoglycaemia, severe hypoglycaemia and hospitalizations for hypoglycaemia. Prior group education, education from a dietitian and education on blood glucose targets were associated with lower Clarke scores, while adjusting insulin doses for blood glucose using an insulin sensitivity factor was associated with lower Gold and Clarke scores. Conclusion: IAH is common in T1D patients in Singapore and is associated with increased risk of severe hypoglycaemia. The Gold and Clarke scores are simple tools which can be routinely administered to identify patients with IAH who might benefit from specific interventions, particularly structured diabetes education, to decrease IAH and its complications.