A new tool has been developed for identifying people with diabetes who are at greatest risk of hospital admittance due to severe hypoglycemia.
Scientists at Kaiser Permanente, Northern California, developed a hypoglycemia risk stratification tool which can predict someone’s 12-month risk of blood sugar-related hospital treatment.
They did this by identifying 156 possible risk factors for hypoglycemia and collecting data from more than 200,000 people with type 2 diabetes.
The final model was based on six variables: age; use of insulin; use of sulphonylurea; prior hospital treatment for hypoglycemia; emergency room visits in the past year; and severe or end-stage kidney disease.
From using the model the researchers then created a tool which categorised patients into high, intermediate and low annual risk of severe hypoglycemia. They successfully tested this tool on 1.3 million members of the U.S. Veterans Health Administration and nearly 15,000 Kaiser Permanente members in Washington State with type 2 diabetes.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) helped fund the development of this research, and the results are now being examined to see how the tool can be used to increase awareness of severe hypoglycemia and prevent future cases.
“This work is an example of how federal agencies can work with private researchers to reduce preventable adverse drug events,” said Dr John Whyte, Director of Professional Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement for the FDA.
“The goal is to identify the patients who are at highest hypoglycemic risk, so that health care providers can focus their attention on the specific needs of these patients and reduce preventable hypoglycemia harm.”
Diabetes.co.uk’s own Hypo Training Program can help people with diabetes prevent low blood sugar, as well learn the causes behind it. It is a 10-week structured education course designed to improve your awareness of low glucose levels and help users gain better glycemic control.

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