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Weenen, Eva van ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5500-2108; Banholzer, Nicolas ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0138-6120; Föll, Simon ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4364-4282; Zueger, Thomas ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6190-7405; Fontana, Federico Y. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0679-6869; Skroce, Kristina ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0379-5235; Hayes, Charlotte; Kraus, Mathias ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2021-2743; Feuerriegel, Stefan ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7856-8729; Lehmann, Vera ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6038-809X; Scott, Sam N. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2342-9865; Wortmann, Felix and Stettler, Christoph ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1691-6059 (September 2023): Glycaemic patterns of male professional athletes with type 1 diabetes during exercise, recovery and sleep: Retrospective, observational study over an entire competitive season. In: Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, Vol. 25, No. 9: pp. 2616-2625 [PDF, 1MB]


Aims: To analyse glycaemic patterns of professional athletes with type 1 diabetes during a competitive season.

Materials and methods: We analysed continuous glucose monitoring data of 12 professional male cyclists with type 1 diabetes during exercise, recovery and sleep on days with competitive exercise (CE) and non-competitive exercise (NCE). We assessed whether differences exist between CE and NCE days and analysed associations between exercise and dysglycaemia.

Results: The mean glycated haemoglobin was 50 ± 5 mmol/mol (6.7 ± 0.5%). The athletes cycled on 280.8 ± 28.1 days (entire season 332.6 ± 18.8 days). Overall, time in range (3.9-10 mmol/L) was 70.0 ± 13.7%, time in hypoglycaemia (<3.9 mmol/L) was 6.4 ± 4.7% and time in hyperglycaemia (>10 mmol/L) was 23.6 ± 12.5%. During the nights of NCE days, athletes spent 10.1 ± 7.4% of time in hypoglycaemia, particularly after exercise in the endurance zones. The CE days were characterized by a higher time in hyperglycaemia compared with NCE days (25.2 ± 12.5% vs. 22.2 ± 12.1%, p = .012). This was driven by the CE phase, where time in range dropped to 60.4 ± 13.0% and time in hyperglycaemia was elevated (38.5 ± 12.9%). Mean glucose was higher during CE compared with NCE sessions (9.6 ± 0.9 mmol/L vs. 7.8 ± 1.1 mmol/L, p < .001). The probability of hyperglycaemia during exercise was particularly increased with longer duration, higher intensity and higher variability of exercise.

Conclusions: The analysis of glycaemic patterns of professional endurance athletes revealed that overall glycaemia was generally within targets. For further improvement, athletes, team staff and caregivers may focus on hyperglycaemia during competitions and nocturnal hypoglycaemia after NCE.

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