Aims: To assess incidence rates (IRs) of and identify risk factors for incident severe hypoglycaemia in patients with type 2 diabetes newly treated with antidiabetic drugs.
Methods: Using the UK-based General Practice Research Database, we performed a retrospective cohort study between 1994 and 2011 and a nested case-control analysis. Ten controls from the population at risk were matched to each case with a recorded severe hypoglycaemia during follow-up on general practice, years of history in the database and calendar time. Using multivariate conditional logistic regression analyses, we adjusted for potential confounders.
Results: Of 130,761 patients with newly treated type 2 diabetes (mean age 61.7 ± 13.0 years), 690 (0.5%) had an incident episode of severe hypoglycaemia recorded [estimated IR 11.97 (95% confidence interval, CI, 11.11-12.90) per 10,000 person-years (PYs)]. The IR was markedly higher in insulin users [49.64 (95% CI, 44.08-55.89) per 10,000 PYs] than in patients not using insulin [8.03 (95% CI, 7.30-8.84) per 10,000 PYs]. Based on results of the nested case-control analysis increasing age [≥ 75 vs. 20-59 years; adjusted odds ratio (OR), 2.27; 95% CI, 1.65-3.12], cognitive impairment/dementia (adjusted OR, 2.00; 95% CI, 1.37-2.91), renal failure (adjusted OR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.04-1.71), current use of sulphonylureas (adjusted OR, 4.45; 95% CI, 3.53-5.60) and current insulin use (adjusted OR, 11.83; 95% CI, 9.00-15.54) were all associated with an increased risk of severe hypoglycaemia.
Conclusions: Severe hypoglycaemia was recorded in 12 cases per 10,000 PYs. Risk factors for severe hypoglycaemia included increasing age, renal failure, cognitive impairment/dementia, and current use of insulin or sulphonylureas.
Keywords: observational study; primary care; type 2 diabetes.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.