Self-reported hypoglycemia and impact on quality of life and depression among adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2012 Jun;96(3):313-8. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2012.01.002. Epub 2012 Jan 31.


Aims: This study evaluated the rate of self-reported hypoglycemia and examined the association of hypoglycemia with quality of life and depression among adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Methods: Respondents to the 2008 US Study to Help Improve Early evaluation and management of risk factors Leading to Diabetes (SHIELD) survey were asked the number of times they experienced hypoglycemia in the past 4 weeks and past 12 months. Respondents also completed the short form-12 (SF-12) questionnaire and the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9). T2DM respondents reporting at least 1 hypoglycemic episode were compared with T2DM respondents who did not report hypoglycemia in the previous 12 months.

Results: Of 2718 T2DM respondents, 23% reported experiencing hypoglycemia in the past 12 months. Respondents reporting hypoglycemia (n=627) had significantly lower (p<0.001) SF-12 scores for both physical health (mean±SD: 37.4±12.7 versus 40.9±12.7) and mental health (50.1±11.7 versus 52.4±10.1) compared with those without hypoglycemia (n=2091). Mean PHQ-9 scores were significantly higher (p<0.001) among respondents reporting hypoglycemia (5.2±5.8), compared with respondents who did not report hypoglycemia (3.9±5.0), indicating greater depression burden.

Conclusion: Self-reported hypoglycemia was prevalent among individuals with T2DM and associated with lower health-related quality of life, and greater burden of depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / blood
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / blood
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced
  • Hypoglycemia / epidemiology*
  • Hypoglycemia / psychology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Hypoglycemic Agents