Frequency and severity of hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients treated with a sulfonylurea-based regimen at university-affiliated hospitals in Korea: The naturalistic evaluation of hypoglycemic events in diabetic subjects study

Yon Su Kim, Be Long Cho, Woo Sik Kim, Sang Hyun Kim, In Hyeon Jung, Won Yong Sin, Dong Hoon Choi, Sang Jae Lee, Chun Soo Lim, Kyung Pyo Kang, Byung Yeon Yu, Wonju Jeung, Chang Gyu Park

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Background: We assessed the frequency and severity of hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients treated with sulfonylurea monotherapy or sulfonylurea+metformin. Methods: We conducted a retrospective, observational, cross-sectional study in 2011 and 2012 including patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus aged ≥30 years who were treated with ≥6 months of sulfonylurea monotherapy or sulfonylurea+metformin at 20 university-affiliated hospitals in Korea. At enrollment, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) was assessed; participants completed self-reported questionnaires describing hypoglycemia incidents over the past 6 months. A review of medical records up to 12 months before enrollment provided data on demographics, disease history, comorbidities, laboratory results, and drug usage. Results: Of 726 enrolled patients, 719 were included (55.6% male); 31.7% and 68.3% were on sulfonylurea monotherapy and sulfonylurea+metformin, respectively. Mean±standard deviation age was 65.9±10.0 years; mean HbA1c level was 7.0%±1.0%; 77.8% of patients had hypertension (89.4% used antihypertensive medication); 60.5% had lipid disorders (72.5% used lipid-lowering medication); and 52.0% had one or more micro- or macrovascular diseases. Among patients with A1c measurement (n=717), 56.4% achieved therapeutic goals (HbA1c < 7.0%); 42.4% (305/719) experienced hypoglycemia within 6 months of enrollment; and 38.8%, 12.9%, 12.7%, and 3.9% of patients experienced mild, moderate, severe, and very severe hypoglycemia symptoms, respectively. Several reported hypoglycemia frequency as 1-2 times over the last 6 months. The mean number of very severe hypoglycemia episodes was 3.5±5.5. Conclusion: Among type 2 diabetes mellitus patients treated with sulfonylurea-based regimens, glycemic levels were relatively well controlled but hypoglycemia remained a prevalent side effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-219
Number of pages8
JournalKorean Journal of Family Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 1



  • Glycated hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Metformin
  • Sulfonylurea
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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