Background: Inpatients hypoglycemia has adverse impacts on patient outcomes and healthcare resources use. While recurrent hypoglycemia is largely preventable, limited studies were done within the Asia-Pacific context. We sought to determine whether temporal distributions of hypoglycemia exist between insulin and/or sulfonylureas (SU) treated patients and identify predictors of recurrent hypoglycemia at a tertiary medical center in Singapore.
Methods: We analyzed data of 420 hypoglycemic episodes (capillary blood glucose (CBG) ≤ 70mg/dL) in 207 diabetes patients at general medical wards over a 2-month period from 1st May 2017. This was analyzed by 4 time frames coincided with blood glucose monitoring times. Time periods associated with hypoglycemia were compared using the Chi-square test. Multivariate logistic regression estimated risk factors of recurrent hypoglycemia.
Results: Most frequent hypoglycemia episodes occurred between 04:00 and 09:59 (41.7%). Greater frequency was seen in insulin- and SU-treated than insulin-treated patients between 04:00 to 09:59 (58.3% vs.37.9% of readings for respective treatments, p<0.05). It was also more frequent in insulin-treated than SU-treated patients between 10:00 to 15:59 (19.2% vs. 10.9%, p<0.05). Nearly a third of patients had recurrent hypoglycemia (32.9%). Longer length of stay, treated with premixed insulin, age < 65 years, HbA1C > 7% and repeated CBG checking > 30 minutes interval emerged as predictors of recurrent hypoglycemia with odds ratio of 1.07 (95% CI 1.03-1.11), 8.07 (95% CI 2.82-23.08), 3.71 (95% CI 1.59-8.65), 3.12 (95% CI 1.26-7.74) and 3.54 (95% CI 1.59-7.91), respectively.
Conclusions: Hypoglycemic episodes were more frequent in the early hours of the day in insulin and SU-treated inpatients. This may have implications for the continuing use of SU at inpatients. Recurrent hypoglycemia can be prevented by developing strategies targeting the modifiable iatrogenic risk factors.
P. Lim: None. S. Goh: None. Y. Bee: None. X. Xin: None. L. Ang: None. N.A. Salleha: None. M.M. Teh: None.