Purpose: We hypothesized that adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) would exhibit impaired heart rate variability (HRV), QT interval, T-wave amplitude, and baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) when compared with healthy controls. In addition, we hypothesized that acute hypoglycemia would result in further adverse changes in measures of autonomic and cardiovascular function.
Methods: A single 180-min hyperinsulinemic (2 mU/kg TBW/min), hypoglycemic (~3.3 umol/mL) clamp was completed in 10 healthy adults and 13 adults with T1DM. Counterregulatory hormones were assessed and measures of heart rate (electrocardiogram) and blood pressure (intra-arterial catheter or finger photoplethysmography) were analyzed at baseline and during the hypoglycemic clamp for measures of HRV, QT interval, T-wave amplitude, and spontaneous cardiac BRS (sCBRS).
Results: Baseline measures of HRV, sCBRS, and T-wave amplitude were blunted in adults with T1DM when compared with healthy controls. Hypoglycemia resulted in significant reductions in HRV, sCBRS, and T-wave amplitude and prolonged QT intervals; these changes were not different between adults with T1DM and healthy controls.
Conclusions: Results from the current study show that adults with T1DM exhibit impaired autonomic and cardiovascular function. Additionally, novel findings highlight an effect of acute hypoglycemia to further reduce measures of autonomic and cardiovascular function similarly between adults with T1DM and healthy controls. These results suggest that acute hypoglycemia may worsen impairments in autonomic and cardiovascular control in patients with T1DM, thus increasing the risk of ventricular arrhythmias and cardiovascular mortality.
- Baroreflex sensitivity
- Heart rate variability
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Clinical Neurology