JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW
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Menstrual Cycle, Glucose Control and Insulin Sensitivity in Type 1 Diabetes: A Systematic Review.

The correlation between the menstrual cycle and glucose control in type 1 diabetes has been the focus of several studies since the 1920s, but a few critical aspects made it particularly challenging to reach conclusive evidence. The aim of this systematic review is to reveal more solid information about the impact of the menstrual cycle on glycaemic outcomes and insulin sensitivity in type 1 diabetes and highlight the less researched areas. The literature was searched by two authors independently using PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase and Scopus (last search on 2 November 2022). The retrieved data did not allow us to perform a meta-analysis. We included 14 studies published between 1990 and 2022, with sample sizes from 4 to 124 patients. We found a wide heterogeneity in the definition of the menstrual cycle phases, glucose metrics, techniques for determining insulin sensitivity, hormonal assessment and other interfering factors considered, with an overall high risk of bias. There is no conclusive evidence, and published data do not allow us to achieve quantitative results. In a subset of patients, a possible worsening of insulin sensitivity and hyperglycaemia in the luteal phase could be observed. From the clinical standpoint, a cautious strategy based on patient-specific patterns can be considered until new, solid evidence is obtained.

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