Although hypoglycemia has traditionally been considered a significant complication of the treatment of type 1 diabetes, the greater incidence of type 2 diabetes compared with type 1, the intensive treatment strategies currently employed, and the longer life expectancy of patients with diabetes, give rise to a large number of type 2 patients at risk for hypoglycemia. This number is likely to rise in an aging population with the increasing use of insulin to treat diabetes. The highest incidence of hypoglycemia is seen in older patients with poor glycemic control and is associated with the use of antidiabetic agents that increase blood insulin concentrations independently of blood glucose concentration (oral antidiabetic drugs or exogenous insulin). Hypoglycemia has a substantial clinical impact in terms of mortality, morbidity, and quality of life. The economic impact of severe hypoglycemic events owing to direct hospital costs and the indirect costs of the inability to work are considerable. Furthermore, both patients' and physicians' fear of hypoglycemia reduces adherence to therapeutic regimens and limits the ability of current diabetes medications to achieve the level of glycemic control required to prevent disease progression. Newer therapies and improvements in patient education may help patients achieve improved glucose control by safely reducing glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) with a lower risk of hypoglycemia.
- Glucagon-like peptide-1
- Glycemic control
- Type 2 diabetes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism