ABSTRACT: The risk of severe hypoglycemia associated with the particular therapeutic approach of two University hospitals was assessed in 96% of all patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) who had been admitted during a period of almost 3 yr to the diabetic wards of two hospitals and who participated in a structured teaching and treatment program. During a mean follow-up period of 18 mo, 10% of the conventionally treated patients (N = 384; age 30 +/- 13 yr; duration of diabetes 12 +/- 9 yr) and 9% of the CSII-treated patients (N = 50, age 28 +/- 7 yr, duration of diabetes 13 +/- 7 yr, total follow-up period 1093 patient-mo) experienced at least one severe hypoglycemic episode per year, and a total of 123 severe hypoglycemic episodes occurred. In a subgroup of 169 conventionally treated patients, mean glycosylated hemoglobin values decreased from 10.5 +/- 1.9% before participation in the program to 9.2 +/- 2.0% (P less than 0.001) 18 +/- 4 mo thereafter. For the CSII-treated patients, glycosylated hemoglobin values were 9.7 +/- 1.9% before initiation of pump therapy and remained at the upper normal range from 3 mo thereafter throughout the study. There was no relationship between glycosylated hemoglobin levels and the occurrence of severe hypoglycemic episodes. Fifty-three severe hypoglycemic episodes were treated with glucagon injections by the patients' relatives (all but one effectively), 30 were managed by assisting physicians, and 44 led to hospitalization. Thus, successful attempts to improve glycosylated hemoglobin values in an unselected group of patients with IDDM were not associated with an unduly high risk of severe hypoglycemia when compared with the scarce data from the literature.
Diabetes Care 8(3):268-73. · 8.09 Impact Factor