Hypoglycemia has been reported to occur frequently in hospital nurses. An endemic condition of hypoglycemia in hospital nurses made us embark on a large scale epidemiological study.
Female hospital nurses and other female workers participated in the current study. Among 3415 workers, we selected 207 workers as a referral population who had frequently episodes and 2489 controls who had never had hypoglycemic episodes before. A statistical criteria applied to the 207 cases predict that 155 of them would have symptoms alone and 52 biochemical hypoglycemia. Volunteers requested from the above two groups and the control population to determine blood glucose levels during every day life.
Among 31 volunteers, one out of 11 from symptoms alone group, 8 out of 10 from biochemical hypoglycemia group, and none out of 10 from the control group, was found to have biochemical hypoglycemia (<60mg/dl of blood) during blood glucose monitoring. The hypoglycemia group had significantly lower mean bool glucose levels and minimum blood glucose levels than symptoms alone or control group.
Identified risk factors for biochemical hypoglycemia when adjusted for age, body mass index (BMI), were occupation (nurse vs.other workers), nightshift (yes vs.no), pancreatitis, thyroid disease, family history of cancer, desert eating, experience of sudden hunger and current use of analgesics, gastric antacids, Chinese herbs and vitamins. Multiple logistic analyzes robustoly revealed pancreatitis thyroid disease, desert eating, experiences of sudden hunger, and current use of vitamins. In contrast, symptoms alone cases (symptoms without hypoglycemia) had multiple risk factors, suggesting that they had hypochondriac tendency probably due to poor adaptation to the job.
The present study clearly demonstrated that biochemical hypoglycemia is really one of health problems at occupational settings for nurse.