Laboratory studies have shown impairments in driving performance among subjects with type 1 diabetes mellitus when their blood glucose (BG) level is between 2.6 and 3.6 mmol/L (47-65 mg/dL). However, there is little or no data examining subjects' decisions to drive at various BG levels during their daily routine. This research examined type 1 diabetic subjects' decisions to drive during their daily routine based on perception of BG levels compared with actual measured BG levels among 2 groups of patients recruited 2 years apart from 4 academic medical centers. All subjects were adults with type 1 diabetes who were drivers and who performed at least 2 BG tests/day. Subjects stated they would drive 43-44% of the time when they estimated their BG level to be 3.3-3.9 mmol/L, and 38-47% of the time when their actual BG level was less than 2.2 mmol/L. Logistic regression analysis showed that number of autonomic symptoms, degree of impairment on cognitive function tests, and BG level estimate predicted 76-80% of decisions to drive. Approximately 50% of subjects in each group decided to drive at least 50% of the time when their BG level was less than 3.9 mmol/L. Data suggest that persons with type 1 diabetes may not judge correctly when their BG level is too low to permit safe driving and may consider driving with a low BG level even when they are aware of the low level.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    American Medical Association

    Aging and Community Health
    515 North State Street
    Chicago, IL  United States  60610
  • Authors:
    • Clarke, W L
    • Cox, Daniel J
    • Gonder-Frederick, L A
    • Kovatchev, B
  • Publication Date: 1999-8-25


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 00791333
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 4 2000 12:00AM