Objective: To compare characteristics in Koreans with type 2 diabetes (T2D) with or without perceived hypoglycemia.

Methods: A cross-sectional, correlational design was used. Participants 20 years or older (N=177, men= 113 [63.8%]) were recruited from a university-affiliated diabetes clinic in Korea. Groups were divided by perceived hypoglycemia or not based on the Control Problem Scale. Socio-demographics (e.g., sex, age, years with T2D), psycho-behavioral factors including diabetes self-care activity (Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities Questionnaire), sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), health-related quality of life (QoL; SF-12) and diabetes-related clinical factors (HbA1C, random glucose, blood pressure and lipids) were assessed. Body mass index [BMI], skeletal muscle mass [SMM], total body water (TBW), body fat mass [BFM], and fat free mass [FFM] were assessed by a body composition analyzer (InBody970, Korea). Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS (version 26.0) to compare group differences.

Findings: One-third (n=67, 37.9%) perceived hypoglycemia in the past month (mean age [yr]= 59.1±12.7 vs. 62.1±12.8 and 35 participants experienced severe hypoglycemic reactions (e.g., passing out, needing help) during the past year. The hypoglycemia group reported a lower SF-12 score (88.5±14.1 vs. 96.1±15.2, p=.001), especially mental health functioning (T-score: 47.0±10.2 vs. 51.9±11.6, p=.005) and poor sleep quality needing professional counseling (n=43 [64.2%] vs. n=56 [50.9%]). Frequent monitoring of blood glucose and feet was performed while no differences for diet and exercise. The hypoglycemia group showed lower BMI (p=.018) and trend for lower SMM (p=.078), TBW (p=.086), BFM (p=.086) and FFM (p=.084).

Conclusions: Perceived hypoglycemia is associated with psycho-behavioral and clinical factors. Further investigation is warranted to examine risks for hypoglycemia related to muscle and body mass decline.


E.Cha: None. Y.Shin: None. K.Joung: None. H.Kim: None. H.Kim: None. M.S.Faulkner: None.


National Research Foundation of Korea (HNU X-Corps)

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