New research from the Endocrine Society and Avalere Health has found that clinicians are not equipped to identify, assess and manage patients at a high risk of developing hypoglycaemia.
The study examined available resources for managing hypoglycaemia and ways in which to incorporate better management strategies in clinical practice.
Experts from both organisations conducted an environmental scan examining clinical guidance documents, quality measures, and their use in value-based clinical tools, purchasing programmes and quality initiatives related to Type 2 diabetes and hypoglycaemia.
Helping identify high-risk patients
The results suggest that efforts to prevent hypoglycaemia should be focused on helping primary care providers identify high-risk patients who would benefit most from individualised glycaemic targets, as well as educating at-risk patients about how to recognise and suitably manage events related to the condition.
Robert W Lash, the society’s chief professional and clinical affairs officer, as well as first author of the analysis, said: “While hypoglycaemia 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.
“In the past two decades, healthcare providers and patients have made important strides to achieve improved blood glucose control to prevent or delay complications such as heart, eye and kidney disease.
“However, we need to be aware that emphasising these lower blood glucose goals may unintentionally put individuals with Type 2 diabetes at greater risk of hypoglycaemia,” he added.
Improving outcomes in patients with Type 2 diabetes
This analysis paves the way for the society’s Hypoglycaemia Prevention Initiative to improve outcomes in individuals with Type 2 diabetes.
Lash concluded: “The current landscape clearly demonstrates the need to address hypoglycaemia as a routine part of clinical care for individuals with Type 2 diabetes.
“Now that we understand the full scope of the issue, the society’s Hypoglycaemia 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.”