The economic and quality of life impact of hypoglycemia

Eur J Health Econ. 2005 Sep;6(3):197-202. doi: 10.1007/s10198-005-0276-3.


Hypoglycemia is an often underrecognized side effect of type 2 diabetes therapy. This study assessed the burden of hypoglycemia in this population in Sweden and included 309 patients aged 35 years or older and treated with insulin and/or oral antidiabetic agents. Data were gathered through patient questionnaires/interviews and chart reviews. The results showed that 115 patients (37%) reported symptoms of hypoglycemia during the preceding month. Patients with hypoglycemia were more affected by their diabetes, reported lower general health, and were more anxious about hypoglycemia than those without hypoglycemia. The direct and indirect costs of hypoglycemia per patient with hypoglycemic symptoms were estimated to be U.S. $12.9 and $14.1, respectively, for a 1-month period. The results indicate that hypoglycemia is common, and that a reduction in these symptoms, without reducing glycemic control, may improve patient well-being and possibly also reduce cost.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Health Resources / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / complications
  • Hypoglycemia / economics*
  • Hypoglycemia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology