OBJECTIVES Hypoglycemia is a common side effect of insulin therapy in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Limited data exist on the frequency of hypoglycemic events in type 2 diabetic patients in Turkey. Our study investigated self-reported hypoglycemic events and awareness of hypoglycemia in Turkish patients with type 2 diabetes. METHODS People with type 2 diabetes older than 18 years of age were recruited from the two university hospital diabetes clinics. The frequency and severity of hypoglycemia and awareness of hypoglycemia during the preceding year were determinated using questionnaires by the face-to-face interview method. RESULTS In this study of 187 patients with type 2 diabetes, 83.4% had impaired awareness of their hypoglycemia, and 62% reported that they had missed some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Of the patients reporting hypoglycemic symptoms and severity level, 84.1% experienced mild hypoglycemia, 60% moderate, and 15.5% severe hypoglycemia in the past year. No significant association was made between hypoglycemia awareness and age, body-mass index (BMI), years of diabetes, dose of insulin, duration of insulin use, number of meals, or amount of snacking. A significant correlation was found between A1c levels and hypoglycemia awareness and severity of hypoglycemia. A significant correlation was found between dose of insulin, amount of snacking, and severity of hypoglycemia. No significant association was made between severity of hypoglycemia and age, BMI, years of diabetes, duration of insulin use, or the number of meals. However, the group with severe hypoglycemia had diabetes longer, and the average daily dose of insulin use was higher than in other groups. CONCLUSIONS According to the study results, the percentage of patients with impaired awareness of hypoglycemia is high, and 62% of patients reported that they had missed some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes. In addition, the percentage of severe hypoglycemic events is not low. Impaired awareness of hypoglycemia is a major risk factor for severe hypoglycemic events. Patients should be educated about the danger of hypoglycemia. Education should be improved, and a determined attempt should be made to eradicate the problem.
Büyükkaya Besen, D., Arda Sürücü, H., & Koşar, C. (2016). Self-reported frequency, severity of, and awareness of hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes patients in Turkey. PeerJ, 4, e2700. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2700