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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-16

Hypoglycemia in Elderly Diabetic Patients with Good Glycemic Control attending Cardiology Out Patient Department of a Superspeciality Hospital

1 Asso. Prof., Deptt. of community medicine, Chief Academic Officer and Coordinator, Medical Education Unit, Government Medical College, Kota, Rajasthan, India
2 Chief Interventional Cardiologist, Sudha Hospital, Kota, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Purushottam Mittal
2, Jawahar Nagar, Kota, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.35262/jiag.v16i1.11-16

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Objective-Clinical trials and observational studies have provided good evidence that early glycemic control leads to a reduction in complications and improved survival in diabetics. However, elevated risk of mortality has been reported at both the lower and upper ends of long-term glucose levels. Fear of hypoglycemia has been a significant factor in suboptimal glycemic control. In this retrospective analysis we aimed to identify the incidence of hypoglycemia and their precipitating factors in elderly diabetics on good glycemic control. Material and methods- Ninety seven elderly diabetic patients attending the cardiology Out-Patients Department of a super speciality private sector hospital from 1 December 2017 to 30 November 2018 were studied retrospectively. Their demographic profile, co-morbidities and pharmacological profile were recorded. Incidence of hypoglycemic episodes and their precipitating factor were then analyzed. Result-Mean age was 71.7± 6.3 years, and 64 (66%) were male. Mean duration of diabetes was 7.3± 1.3 years. All patients had type II diabetes mellitus. Mean fasting and random capillary blood glucose levels were 116.5 ±8.7 mg/dl and 169.5±13.5mg/dl, respectively. Mean HbAlc levels of the study population was 6.8±1.14. Over the study period, 23 (23.7%) patients experienced 39 episodes of any level of hypoglycemia. HbAlc Levels in the hypoglycemia group were not significantly different from those in no-hyperglycemia group (6.85±1.13 vs. 6.63±1.04). Mean random plasma glucose values were slightly higher in no-hypoglycemia group (170.9±14.5 vs 164.9±14.9), but the difference did not reach the statistical significance. There was a markedly significant difference in mean fasting plasma glucose values between hypoglycemia and no-hypoglycemia group (101.8±8.9 vs 116.5±12.7). Sulphonylurea and insulin use was more frequent in patients experiencing hypoglycemia (9.6% and 52.2% respectively) as compared with no-hypoglycemia group (33.8% and 39.1% respectively). The most common preceding event was either skipping a meal in 12(30.8%) patients or an unplanned change in diet in 23% patients. Conclusion- Patients with longstanding diabetes and loss of warning symptoms have increased risk of severe hypoglycaemic episodes. Risk of the hypoglycemic episode is better correlated with fasting plasma glucose levels and glycemic variability rather than with HbAlc Level. Sulphonylurea drug use was the only group associated with a statistically significant risk of hypoglycemia. Skipping of a meal or a sudden change in the diet and alteration in antidiabetic drug regimen are the most important precipitating factors for hypoglycemia.

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