Author(s): Hsu PF, Sung SH, Cheng HM, Yeh JS, WenLing Liu
OBJECTIVE: Hypoglycemia is associated with serious health outcomes for patients treated for diabetes. However, the outcome of outpatients with type 2 diabetes who have experienced hypoglycemia episodes is largely unknown.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The study population, derived from the National Health Insurance Research Database released by the Taiwan National Health Research Institutes during 1998-2009, comprised 77,611 patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. We designed a prospective study consisting of randomly selected hypoglycemic type 2 diabetic patients and matched type 2 diabetic patients without hypoglycemia. We investigated the relationships of hypoglycemia with total mortality and cardiovascular events, including stroke, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular diseases, and all-cause hospitalization.
RESULTS: There were 1,844 hypoglycemic events (500 inpatients and 1,344 outpatients) among the 77,611 patients. Both mild (outpatient) and severe (inpatient) hypoglycemia cases had a higher percentage of comorbidities, including hypertension, renal diseases, cancer, stroke, and heart disease. In multivariate Cox regression models, including diabetes treatment adjustment, diabetic patients with hypoglycemia had a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular events during clinical treatment periods. After constructing a model adjusted with propensity scores, mild and severe hypoglycemia still demonstrated higher hazard ratios (HRs) for cardiovascular diseases (HR 2.09 [95% CI 1.63-2.67]), all-cause hospitalization (2.51 [2.00-3.16]), and total mortality (2.48 [1.41-4.38]).
CONCLUSIONS: Symptomatic hypoglycemia, whether clinically mild or severe, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events, all-cause hospitalization, and all-cause mortality. More attention may be needed for diabetic patients with hypoglycemic episodes.Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism