Phan-Hug F, Thurneysen E, Theintz G, Ruffieux C, Grouzmann E. Impact of videogame playing on glucose metabolism in children with type 1 diabetes.
Time spent playing videogames (VG) occupies a continually increasing part of children's leisure time. They can generate an important state of excitation, representing a form of mental and physical stress. This pilot study aimed to assess whether VG influences glycemic balance in children with type 1 diabetes. Twelve children with type 1 diabetes were subjected to two distinct tests at a few weeks interval: (i) a 60-min VG session followed by a 60-min rest period and (ii) a 60-min reading session followed by a 60-min rest period. Heart rate, blood pressure, glycemia, epinephrine (E), norepinephrine (NE), cortisol (F), and growth hormone (GH) were measured at 30 min intervals from −60 to +120 min. Non-parametric Wilcoxon tests for paired data were performed on Δ-values computed from baseline (0 min). Rise in heart rate (p = 0.05) and NE increase (p = 0.03) were shown to be significantly higher during the VG session when compared to the reading session and a significant difference of Δ-glycemic values was measured between the respective rest periods. This pilot study suggests that VG playing could induce a state of excitation sufficient to activate the sympathetic system and alter the course of glycemia. Dietary and insulin dose recommendations may be needed to better control glycemic excursion in children playing VG.