Low blood sugar can cause ‘irregular heart rhythms in diabetics’

29 April 2014

When blood sugar levels drastically drop overnight it can cause prolonged periods of heart rhythm disturbances in older patients with type 2 diabetes and other heart problems, according to new research from the University of Sheffield.

The findings could provide insights into the mechanism by which blood sugar levels contribute to dangerous changes in heart rhythm - which is a major risk for diabetics.

Results from the study also shed light on the ‘Dead in Bed’ syndrome - a term used to describe how young diabetics without a history of complications suddenly die from the disease.

Professor Simon Heller, co-author of the study, said: "We don't want to alarm patients, but what we've found is potentially important in explaining a possible mechanism by which low overnight blood sugars lead to prolonged, slow heart rates that could disturb blood flow to the heart, causing life-threatening heart attacks.”

He added that the team didn’t expect to find low overnight blood sugars occurring as extensively as it was, and they soon realised it was lasting for several hours. Scientists observed slow heart rate rhythms in patients when this happened.  

According to the professor, doctors need to be aware of the effects of low blood sugar during the night so they can alter the therapy for those patients with a history of cardiovascular disease.

Posted by Jeanette Royston


Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.
 

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:

or

Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.

or

Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Categories

Cardiac

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)