Prediction of Hypoglycemia During Aerobic Exercise in Adults With Type 1 Diabetes

Ravi Reddy, Navid Resalat, Leah M. Wilson, Jessica R. Castle, Joseph El Youssef, Peter G. Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background: Fear of exercise related hypoglycemia is a major reason why people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) do not exercise. There is no validated prediction algorithm that can predict hypoglycemia at the start of aerobic exercise. Methods: We have developed and evaluated two separate algorithms to predict hypoglycemia at the start of exercise. Model 1 is a decision tree and model 2 is a random forest model. Both models were trained using a meta-data set based on 154 observations of in-clinic aerobic exercise in 43 adults with T1D from 3 different studies that included participants using sensor augmented pump therapy, automated insulin delivery therapy, and automated insulin and glucagon therapy. Both models were validated using an entirely new validation data set with 90 exercise observations collected from 12 new adults with T1D. Results: Model 1 identified two critical features predictive of hypoglycemia during exercise: heart rate and glucose at the start of exercise. If heart rate was greater than 121 bpm during the first 5 min of exercise and glucose at the start of exercise was less than 182 mg/dL, it predicted hypoglycemia with 79.55% accuracy. Model 2 achieved a higher accuracy of 86.7% using additional features and higher complexity. Conclusions: Models presented here can assist people with T1D to avoid exercise related hypoglycemia. The simple model 1 heuristic can be easily remembered (the 180/120 rule) and model 2 is more complex requiring computational resources, making it suitable for automated artificial pancreas or decision support systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-927
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Diabetes Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • artificial pancreas
  • exercise
  • hypoglycemia
  • machine learning
  • type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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