Published online Feb 15, 2015. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v6.i1.30
Peer-review started: July 19, 2014
First decision: October 29, 2014
Revised: October 31, 2014
Accepted: November 27, 2014
Article in press: December 1, 2014
Published online: February 15, 2015
Recent clinical trials indicated that the intensive glycemic control do not reduce cardiovascular disease mortality among diabetic patients, challenging a significance of the strict glycemic control in diabetes management. Furthermore, retrospective analysis of the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes study demonstrated a significant association between hypoglycemia and mortality. Here, we systematically reviewed the drug-induced hypoglycemia, and also the underlying clinical factors for hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes. The sulfonylurea use is significantly associated with severe hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes. The use of biguanide (approximately 45%-76%) and thiazolidinediones (approximately 15%-34%) are also highly associated with the development of severe hypoglycemia. In patients treated with insulin, the intensified insulin therapy is more frequently associated with severe hypoglycemia than the conventional insulin therapy and continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion. Among the underlying clinical factors for development of severe hypoglycemia, low socioeconomic status, aging, longer duration of diabetes, high HbA1c and low body mass index, comorbidities are precipitating factors for severe hypoglycemia. Poor cognitive and mental functions are also associated with severe hypoglycemia.
Core tip: The use of sulfonylurea is significantly associated with severe hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes. Biguanide and thiazolidinediones use are also highly associated with severe hypoglycemia. The intensified insulin therapy is more frequently associated with severe hypoglycemia compared with other insulin therapies. Low socioeconomic status, aging, longer duration of diabetes, high HbA1c and low body mass index, comorbidities, poor cognitive and mental function are precipitating factors for severe hypoglycemia.