Night Hypoglycemia Linked to Slow Heart Rate
People with diabetes may have potentially dangerous heart rhythm changes if their blood sugar drops very low at night, a new study finds. The findings may help to explain other research that has shown links between very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and sudden death, especially at night. The new study included 25 people with type 2 diabetes. All of them had heart disease or a high risk of developing it. All had been taking insulin for their diabetes for at least 4 years. Everyone wore devices for 5 days to continuously monitor their blood sugar and heart activity. Overall, people in the group had hypoglycemia for 134 hours during the 5 days. When this occurred at night, people were 8 times as likely to have a slow heart beat called bradycardia as they were when blood sugar was normal. Abnormal heart rhythms also were more likely to occur at night if blood sugar was low.