Limited health literacy increases diabetes management risks

According to a study at Kaiser Permanente and the University of California, San Francisco, people with diabetes who have a lower level of health literacy face a greater risk of developing hypoglycaemia and low blood sugar levels .
The research team studied over 14,000 adults with diabetes as part of the Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE.) This is the largest study to observe hypoglycaemia in the United States, and relied on self-reported hypoglycaemia.
Dr. Urmimala Sarkar, the lead author of the study, reportedly commented: “The frequency of significant hypoglycemia suggests that more surveillance and monitoring are needed. Physicians need to ask diabetes patients about hypoglycemia symptoms at every visit. Our results also highlight the need to be careful about performance standards for glucose control in diabetes. There may be unintended consequences, like significant hypoglycemia, in trying to achieve strict glucose control for all diabetes patients .”

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