Type 2 diabetics warned on dangers of low blood sugar

October 7, 2010

People with type two diabetes who suffer episodes of critically low blood sugar levels (severe hypoglycemia) are at greater risk of suffering subsequent vascular problems such as a heart attack, stroke and kidney disease, as well as non-vascular problems such as cancer and respiratory conditions, a new study has found.

Researchers at The George Institute for Global Health conducted a study involving 11,140 people with type two across 20 countries over the age of 55 years. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first to show the link between a greater risk of suffering a wide range of life threatening illnesses after the experience of severe hypoglycemia.

Approximately 246 million people live with diabetes worldwide with type two being the most common form of diabetes, affecting 85 to 90 percent of all people with diabetes.

Dr. Sophia Zoungas, lead author of the paper says, "The study showed a strong link between severe hypoglycemic episodes and subsequent life threatening health problems such as , stroke, and digestive disorders. The study suggests that once severe hypoglycemia occurs it may be considered a marker of future vulnerability to serious conditions. Importantly, it was not able to show that severe hypoglycemia was the direct cause of the illnesses."

"Ultimately this research means two things for people with type two diabetes; firstly, it's increasingly important to have a conversation with your doctor about how best to manage your diabetes to prevent hypoglycemia in the first instance. Secondly, once severe hypoglycemia has occurred doctors and those with diabetes should consider the possible underlying causes and adjust their management where necessary to prevent further episodes and minimise future health risks", says Dr. Zoungas.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system

September 21, 2017
For years, medical investigators have tried and failed to develop vaccines for a type of staph bacteria associated with the deadly superbug MRSA. But a new study by Cedars-Sinai investigators shows how staph cells evade the ...

Superbug's spread to Vietnam threatens malaria control

September 21, 2017
A highly drug resistant malaria 'superbug' from western Cambodia is now present in southern Vietnam, leading to alarming failure rates for dihydroartemisinin (DHA)-piperaquine—Vietnam's national first-line malaria treatment, ...

Individualized diets for irritable bowel syndrome better than placebo

September 21, 2017
Patients with irritable bowel syndrome who follow individualized diets based on food sensitivity testing experience fewer symptoms, say Yale researchers. Their study is among the first to provide scientific evidence for this ...

A dose of 'wait-and-see' reduces unnecessary antibiotic use

September 21, 2017
Asking patients to take a 'wait-and-see' approach before having their antibiotic prescriptions filled significantly reduces unnecessary use, a University of Queensland study has shown.

Groundbreaking investigative effort identifies gonorrhea vaccine candidates

September 19, 2017
Researchers at Oregon State University have identified a pair of proteins that show promise as the basis for a gonorrhea vaccine.

Snail fever progression linked to nitric oxide production

September 14, 2017
Bilharzia, caused by a parasitic worm found in freshwater called Schistosoma, infects around 200 million people globally and its advance can lead to death, especially in children in developing countries.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.