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Do hypoglycaemia and sleep state impact cardiac autonomic function, T-wave morphology, and arrhythmia risk in youth with type 1 diabetes?

Over time, diabetes leads to complications, including problems with the nerves (neuropathy). This includes the nerves that help control heart rate/rhythm and blood pressure. This makes heart attacks more likely to occur.

Complications have their origins soon after diabetes starts in children and adolescents. Rarely, young people with diabetes die suddenly and unexpectedly during sleep. Heart nerve and rhythm problems may contribute to this devastating outcome. Currently the methods used to diagnose heart nerve problems only work once complications are advanced. We also don't know how sleep and low blood sugar influence their risk. This study aims to find ways to detect early signs of complications affecting the heart’s nerve supply. and whether sleep itself or changes with blood sugar during sleep make serious heart rhythm abnormalities more likely to occur in young people with diabetes. This could lead to ways to reduce risk from such complications and prevent sudden death.

This research brings together researchers in the University of Otago Wellington and the Dunedin School of Medicine to investigate type 1 diabetes (T1D) and its complications.

We are looking for volunteers between the ages of 5–18 years, with or without diabetes. You would have an overnight sleep study, another assessment of sleep called actigraphy, an ECG (measuring your heart rhythm), and wear a continuous glucose monitor for 7 days (CGM to measure glucose all the time, which you may have had before).

Researchers will then compare the information we get from young people with diabetes and those without to see if there are differences in sleep or heart rhythm. We will also see whether changes in blood sugar (high or low) have an effect on heart rhythm.

Dunedin Research Team

Dr Ben Wheeler
Paediatrician
Tel 64 474 0999 pager 3161
Mob 027 470 1980
Email ben.wheeler@otago.ac.nz

Dr Sara Boucher Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Tel 03 470 9167
Email sara.boucher@otago.ac.nz

Grace Boston
Senior Medical Student
Tel 03 470 9167
Email grace.boston@postgrad.otago.ac.nz

Grace and Sara will be responsible for data collection in Dunedin

Associate Professor Barbara Galland
Email barbara.galland@otago.ac.nz

Wellington Research Team

Associate Professor Esko Wiltshire
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health
University of Otago Wellington
Email esko.wiltshire@otago.ac.nz

Professor Dawn Elder
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health
University of Otago Wellington
Email dawn.elder@otago.ac.nz

Associate Professor Peter Larsen
Department of Surgery and Anaesthesia
University of Otago Wellington
Email peter.larsen@otago.ac.nz

Associate Professor Angela Campbell
Wellsleep, Department of Medicine
University of Otago Wellington
Email angela.campbell@otago.ac.nz