The impact of hypoglycemia on quality of life and related outcomes in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes: A systematic review

M. Coolen*, M. Broadley, C. Hendrieckx, H. Chatwin, M. Clowes, S. Heller, B.E. de Galan, J. Speight, F. Pouwer, Hypo-RESOLVE Consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective To conduct a systematic review to examine associations between hypoglycemia and quality of life (QoL) in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes.Methods Four databases (Medline, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, PsycINFO) were searched systematically in November 2019 and searches were updated in September 2021. Studies were eligible if they included children and/or adolescents with type 1 diabetes, reported on the association between hypoglycemia and QoL (or related outcomes), had a quantitative design, and were published in a peer-reviewed journal after 2000. A protocol was registered the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO; CRD42020154023). Studies were evaluated using the Joanna Briggs Institute's critical appraisal tool. A narrative synthesis was conducted by outcome and hypoglycemia severity.Results In total, 27 studies met inclusion criteria. No hypoglycemia-specific measures of QoL were identified. Evidence for an association between SH and (domains) of generic and diabetes-specific QoL was too limited to draw conclusions, due to heterogenous definitions and operationalizations of hypoglycemia and outcomes across studies. SH was associated with greater worry about hypoglycemia, but was not clearly associated with diabetes distress, depression, anxiety, disordered eating or posttraumatic stress disorder. Although limited, some evidence suggests that more recent, more frequent, or more severe episodes of hypoglycemia may be associated with adverse outcomes and that the context in which hypoglycemia takes places might be important in relation to its impact.Conclusions There is insufficient evidence regarding the impact of hypoglycemia on QoL in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes at this stage. There is a need for further research to examine this relationship, ideally using hypoglycemia-specific QoL measures.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0260896
Number of pages25
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2021


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