Cohort Study Identifies Patient Characteristics Associated With Severe Hypoglycemia

March 16, 2018. A retrospective cohort study using electronic medical records of 50,439 patients with type 2 diabetes in the Cleveland Clinic Health System was conducted between 2006-2015 to identify severe hypoglycemia events and associated risk factors. Incidence of severe hypoglycemia, defined as hospitalizations or emergency department visits for hypoglycemia, increased from 2006 to 2015 from 0.12% to 0.31% (P = 0.01). The following patient characteristics were associated with increased risk for severe hypoglycemia: use of insulin (odds ratio [OR]: 2.77) or sulfonylureas (OR: 2.49) increased number of diabetes medications (OR: 1.56); A1C <6% (OR: 1.95); history of nonsevere hypoglycemia (OR: 3.01); increased Charlson comorbidity index (OR: 1.15); and black race (OR: 2.55; P<0.001 for all patient characteristics). A higher body mass index, as well as use of metformin, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, was associated with a lower risk of severe hypoglycemia. You can read the study abstract here.