Four out of five people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin to help control their condition have experienced self-treated hypoglycaemia, according to new research which reveals the huge impact hypoglycaemic episodes can have on diabetes management .
The Global Attitudes of Patients and Physicians survey, which was funded by global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, found that 80 per cent of insulin-using type 2 diabetics have suffered self-treated hypoglycaemia, with more than a third (36 per cent) experiencing an episode within the last month.
Of these, 46 per cent reported increasing blood glucose monitoring as a result of their last episode and more than 10 per cent made changes to their long-acting insulin regime .
Additionally, 16 per cent of the patients said they did not stick to their insulin plan, while 14 per cent deliberately kept their blood sugar at a higher than recommended level in order to prevent nocturnal hypoglycaemia or night time hypos .
Although respondents said they recognised the clinical consequences of insulin non-adherence, nearly half (48 per cent) admitted to having missed a dose of basal insulin altogether, 51 per cent said they had mistimed a basal dose by more than two hours and 38 per cent said they had reduced a dose.
Of the healthcare professionals who were polled for the study, the majority (82 per cent) said they took the risk of self-treated hypoglycaemia into account when deciding on the type of insulin to prescribe, and over half (57 per cent) started patients on a smaller than recommended dose of long-acting insulin .
The findings of the survey were presented last week at the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Berli, Germany.