Healthcare professionals in the US are not well enough equipped to help older people with type 2 diabetes avoid hypoglycemia, an analysis suggests
Research from Avalere Health and the Endocrine Society revealed that more focus is needed on helping US clinicians identify high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes who would benefit from individualised blood sugar targets and education on managing hypoglycemia.
As part of the research, over 750 relevant scientific articles were examined relating to type 2 diabetes and hypoglycemia. The review identified several quality initiatives had been put in place across various areas to help healthcare professionals identify individuals at risk of hypos, but were not widespread.
Hypoglycemia develops when blood sugar levels drop too low. In people on stronger diabetes medications, if a hypo is not treated in time it may lead to a severe hypo, which is classified as a medical emergency.
Dr Robert Lash, who led the analysis and is the Society’s chief professional and clinical affairs officer, said: “While hypoglycemia is well recognised as a threat among people with type 1 diabetes and their healthcare providers, the danger it poses to people with type 2 diabetes is underappreciated.
“The current landscape clearly demonstrates the need to address hypoglycemia as a routine part of clinical care for individuals with type 2 diabetes.”
The findings suggest that healthcare professionals should be working from the same initiative, such as the Society’s Hypoglycemia Prevention programme.
The aim of the project is to help clinicians identify people who are at risk of low blood sugar levels before it occurs and introduce appropriate interventions to ensure they completely avoid the condition.
Dr Lash added: “Now that we understand the full scope of the issue, the Society’s Hypoglycemia Prevention Initiative is poised to develop needed support tools for clinicians and to raise awareness of the problem among both healthcare providers and people with diabetes.”
The findings of the study have been published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &Metabolism.

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