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Ther Apher Dial. 2009 Apr;13(2):95-102. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-9987.2009.00662.x.

Hypoglycemia in diabetic patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis.

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School of Medicine, Chang Gung University, and Division of Nephrology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelung, Taiwan.


The aim of our study was to determine if different hypoglycemic therapies are associated with more frequent episodes of hypoglycemia in diabetes patients undergoing long-term hemodialysis. We conducted a prospective cohort study that included 102 diabetes patients who were undergoing long-term hemodialysis. The frequency of symptomatic hypoglycemic episodes, intradialytic hypotension, antihypertension medication, hypoglycemic therapy regimens, dialysate contents, and laboratory data were reviewed. The duration of follow-up was three months. Fifty-four (52.9%) patients were categorized as hypoglycemic and 48 (47.1%) patients as non-hypoglycemic. The serum albumin levels of the hypoglycemic and non-hypoglycemic patients were 3.18 +/- 0.34 g/dL and 3.44 +/- 0.33 g/dL respectively (P < 0.001). The prevalence of intradialytic hypotension is significantly higher in the hypoglycemic patients (44.4%) than in the non-hypoglycemic patients (20.8%) (P = 0.012). The risk of hypoglycemia differed significantly between the patients taking oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) and those receiving purely insulin therapy (P = 0.035). Multivariate analysis revealed that the serum albumin (odds ratio [OR] 0.093, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.021-0.409), intradialytic hypotension (OR 2.755, 95% CI 1.048-7.228), and OHA therapy (OR 0.337, 95% CI 0.128-0.888) were independent factors of hypoglycemia. The patients treated only with meglitinides as hypoglycemic therapy had a significantly lower risk of hypoglycemia than those receiving mixed insulin therapy (P = 0.016). Frequent episodes of intradialytic hypotension and hypoalbuminemia are powerful clinical predictors of hypoglycemia in diabetes patients undergoing hemodialysis. It was also found that OHAs do not pose a higher risk of hypoglycemia than insulin in diabetic patients undergoing hemodialysis.

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