Fall in prevalence of impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia in individuals with type 1 diabetes

N. Ali*, S. El Hamdaoui, B.J. Schouwenberg, C.J. Tack, B.E. de Galan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims: Impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia (IAH) has been reported to affect up to a third of people with type 1 diabetes. Whether the increased use of sensor technology has changed its prevalence remains unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the current prevalence of IAH and its change over time in a cohort of individuals with type 1 diabetes. Methods: IAH was assessed using the modified Clarke questionnaire in adults with type 1 diabetes. Participants were recruited from the diabetes outpatient clinic from February 2020 through April 2021. The scores were compared to similar data collected during previous assessments in 2006, 2010 and 2016 respectively. Results: A total of 488 individuals (51.2% male) with a mean (±SD) age of 51.3 ± 15.9 years, median [Q1–Q3] diabetes duration of 30 [16–40] years and mean HbA 1c of 60 ± 12 mmol/mol (7.7 ± 1.1%) were included. Sensors were used by 85% of the study population. IAH was present among 78 (16.0%) participants, whereas 86 (17.6%) participants had a history of severe hypoglycaemia. By comparison, the prevalence of IAH equalled 32.5% in 2006, 32.3% in 2010 and 30.1% in 2016 (p for trend <0.001), while the proportion of individuals reporting severe hypoglycaemia equalled 21.2%, 46.7% and 49.8% respectively (p for trend 0.010). Comparing sequential assessments over time, the proportion of individuals with persistent IAH decreased from 74.0% and 63.6% between 2006 and 2016 to 32.5% in 2020. Conclusions: Among individuals with type 1 diabetes and high use of sensor technology, the current prevalence of IAH was 16%, about 50% lower as compared to previous years.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15042
Number of pages12
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date1 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • continuous glucose monitoring
  • epidemiology
  • HbA(1c)
  • impaired awareness of hypoglycaemia
  • severe hypoglycaemia
  • type 1 diabetes


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