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Type 2 diabetes: hypos warn of other problems to come

People with type 2 diabetes who have severe hypo episodes are at greater risk of suffering subsequent vascular problems such as heart attack, stroke and kidney disease, as well as non-vascular conditions such as cancer and respiratory problems, according to a George Institute study reported in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. The George Institute research team’s findings came from a study involving more than 11,000 people aged over 55 with type 2 diabetes in 22 countries.

01 Nov 2010

People with type 2 diabetes who have severe hypo episodes are at greater risk of suffering subsequent vascular problems such as heart attack, stroke and kidney disease, as well as non-vascular conditions such as cancer and respiratory problems, according to a George Institute study reported in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

The George Institute research team’s findings came from a study involving more than 11,000 people aged over 55 with type 2 diabetes in 22 countries.

Lead author Dr Sophia Zoungas said that the study suggested that, once severe hypoglycaemia occurred, it might be considered a marker of future vulnerability to serious conditions.

“Importantly, it was not able to show that severe hypoglycaemia was the direct cause of these conditions.

“Ultimately, this research means two things for people with type 2 diabetes,” she said. “It’s increasingly important to have a conversation with your doctor about how best to manage your diabetes to prevent hypoglycaemia in the first instance.

“Secondly, once severe hypoglycaemia has occurred, doctors and those with diabetes should consider the possible underlying causes and adjust their blood sugar management where necessary to prevent further episodes and minimise future health risks.”


Published: 01 Nov 2010