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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  November 22, 2003
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Diabetes may Impair Driving Ability
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(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- People with type 1 diabetes may be more likely than healthy people or people with type 2 diabetes to end up in a motor vehicle accident, report investigators publishing in this month's Diabetes Care.

Researchers say the intense treatment people receive for the condition puts them at higher risk for hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which can result in a stupor-like state that seriously affects the individual's ability to follow the rules of the road.

The study was conducted among type 1 diabetics, type 2 diabetics, and their non-diabetic spouses during routine checkups at diabetic clinics in the United States and Europe. All participants filled out detailed questionnaires concerning diabetes and driving. There were about 350 people in each of the three groups.

Results showed people with type 1 diabetes reported significantly more car accidents, moving violations, episodes of hypoglycemic stupor, incidents requiring assistance, and mild hypoglycemia while driving than those with type 2 diabetes or the non-diabetic spouses. Interestingly, say researchers, type 2 patients scored about the same as non-diabetic spouses.

Further analysis linked car crashes among type 1 diabetics with more frequent episodes of hypoglycemia, less frequent blood glucose monitoring before driving, and the use of insulin injection therapy as opposed to pump therapy.

Authors believe these findings serve to indicate the potential need for preventative steps to be taken to reduce the risk of possible crashes for drivers with type 1 diabetes.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, 2003;26:2329-2334

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