Background and Aims: Hypoglycemia is one of the most important adverse events in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, hypoglycemia-related events are usually overlooked and have been documented less in clinical practice. Materials and Methods: We evaluated the incidence, clinical characteristics, and medical expenses of hypoglycemia related events in T2DM patients based on the Korea National Diabetes Program (KNDP), which is the largest multi-center, prospective cohort in Korea (n = 4,350). For accurate outcomes, the KNDP data were merged with claims data from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) of Korea. Results: During a median follow-up period of 3.23 years (95% CI: 3.14, 3.19), 88 subjects (2.02%) were newly diagnosed with hypoglycemia, and the incidence of hypoglycemia was 6.44 cases per 1,000 person-years (PY). Individuals with hypoglycemia were significantly older (59.7±10.7 vs. 53.3±10.4 years, p < 0.001), had more hospital visits (121.94±126.88 days/ PY, p < 0.001), had a longer hospital stays (16.13±29.21 days/PY, p < 0.001), and incurred greater medical costs ($2,447.56±4,056.38 vs. $1,336.37±3,403.39 /PY, p < 0.001) than subjects without hypoglycemia. Conclusion: Hypoglycemia-related events were infrequently identified among the medical records of T2DM subjects. However, they were associated significantly with poor clinical outcomes, and thus, hypoglycemia could have a substantial burden on the Korean national healthcare system.
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