Diabetes and Diving

DAN completed two studies on recreational diving with diabetes. The first study followed adults with diabetes who were previously certified to dive. The second study followed teenagers with diabetes immediately following their certification training.

This study was completed in 2005.

Historically, DAN has advised divers with insulin-dependent diabetes against diving because of the threat of a hypoglycemic episode underwater. However, in a 1996 survey, DAN discovered that 177 of its members were diabetic and scuba diving. Of these, approximately 74 percent were insulin-dependent.

As a result of these findings, DAN launched two observational studies in 1997 to reevaluate the current guidelines for divers with diabetes.

All participants had to demonstrate good general blood glucose control prior to entry to the study. The divers showed effective control of blood glucose levels during multiday diving under benign subtropical conditions, producing relatively few cases of hypoglycemia, and no significant untoward events.

The results of this study contributed to DAN’s new Guidelines for Diabetes and Recreational Diving.

Additional Reading and References


Peer-Reviewed Publications