Key considerations around the risks and consequences of hypoglycaemia in people with type 2 diabetes

Int J Clin Pract. 2010 Jul;64(8):1121-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2009.02332.x. Epub 2010 Mar 5.


Hypoglycaemia and its consequences represent a significant risk for many people who have type 2 diabetes, and hypoglycaemia is currently under-recognised and commonly avoidable. Current clinical guidelines recommend the targeting of tight glycaemic control and this strategy may also be associated with an increased risk of hypoglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia impacts on morbidity, mortality and quality of life of people with type 2 diabetes, and improved recognition of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia will allow effective treatment and reduce the risk of progression to more severe episodes. A common cause of hypoglycaemia in people with type 2 diabetes is glucose-lowering medication, in particular, those which raise insulin independently of ambient glucose concentration such as sulphonylureas and exogenous insulin. The recently published National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guideline recommends the use of Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors or thiazolidinediones (glitazones) as alternative second-line therapy instead of a sulphonylurea in those patients who are at significant risk of hypoglycaemia and its consequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Cost of Illness
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / economics
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / etiology
  • Fear
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced
  • Hypoglycemia / diagnosis
  • Hypoglycemia / prevention & control*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Care


  • Hypoglycemic Agents