Aim: To quantify the incidence of non-severe hypoglycaemic events among veterans with Type 2 diabetes and its association with primary care provider prescribing behaviour. Methods: This was a prospective observational study involving 30 primary care providers and patients enrolled with these primary care providers, identified from computerized pharmacy records. Two sampling frames were created consisting of (1) patients not treated with insulin and receiving sulfonylurea treatment (with or without other oral hypoglycaemic agents) and (2) patients treated with insulin (with or without sulfonylureas or other oral hypoglycaemic agents). Patients recorded the frequency, proximal cause of, and response to each hypoglycaemic event over a 12-week period and made three visits to a research coordinator over 24 weeks. Data were provided to the primary care provider before their next visit and charts were reviewed for medication changes. Results: A total of 265 patients were enrolled in study. During the 12 weeks of structured self-monitoring of blood glucose, patients recorded a mean (sd) of 6.9 (10.3) hypoglycaemic events. Duration of diabetes increased monotonically with increasing category of hypoglycaemic event (P < 0.001). Among insulin users, an increased frequency of hypoglycaemic events was associated with a decreased likelihood of dose intensification by primary care providers (relative risk 0.86 per event; P = 0.02) but no significant increase in tendency for dose reduction (relative risk 1.04 per event; P = 0.06). Increased frequency of hypoglycaemic events was associated with an increased likelihood of dose reduction (relative risk 1.12 per event; P = 0.03) in the sulfonylurea treatment group. Conclusions: Non-severe hypoglycaemia is common among veterans with Type 2 diabetes receiving insulin or sulfonylureas and influences the prescribing behaviour of primary care providers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism