I actually would not say that the auto off killer that poor young woman, the improper settings on her pump were her demise. Read this excerpt:
On Oct. 25, 2000, a Wednesday, Sylvia met with Emily Holing, a diabetes educator at the UW clinic. Holing hooked up Sylvia's pump and showed her how to use it.
This same afternoon, Holing documented two episodes of hypoglycemia for Sylvia, 15 minutes apart. Each time Sylvia needed to drink orange juice.
Holing didn't activate the Auto-Off on Sylvia's pump. She understood the feature, Holing said later, but didn't think Sylvia should use it. "I don't want the insulin interrupted during pregnancy," Holing said in a deposition. She advised Sylvia to use a "buddy system," with a friend or relative making regular checks on her. Sylvia had pizza that evening, then drove home. She wouldn't be heard from for three days.
As far as I am concerned, her diabetes educator set her pump up WRONG! She had two hypos while meeting with her educator!
The most aggressive estimates of rates of death for people with type 1 diabetes from hypos is 2-4% by Cryer in 2003. His estimates lump in a wide range of causes of death (including a range of cardiovascular problems) and probably are way too high.
In practice, hypoglycemia awareness and counterregulation protect us against harm. With a harsh low, even most T1s will countreregulate and dump glucose to fight against a potentially harmful low, this is why you see a high blood sugar after a hypo episode. And while it is true that as you get older, you have autonomic problems, etc, and you do become more vulnerable to really dangerous lows, I have just not seen studies suggesting that lots of people are passing because of hypos.
If hypos were truly taking us at high rates, I think we would hear it here from our thousands of members.