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J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2015 Mar;21(3):243-53.

Association between hypoglycemia and fall-related events in type 2 diabetes mellitus: analysis of a U.S. commercial database.

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Tulane University, 1440 Canal St., New Orleans, LA 70112.



Hypoglycemia is a major barrier to achieving optimal glycemic control and managing diabetes successfully in patients with diabetes. Falls are the most significant consequences caused by hypoglycemia episodes. Both hypoglycemia and falls lead to substantial economic burden on the health care system in the United States.


To examine the association of hypoglycemia with fall-related outcomes in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).


Records were obtained for T2DM patients (N = 1,147,937) from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2011. The nonhypoglycemia patients were randomly matched 1:1 by age and gender to the hypoglycemia patients. Fall-related events (composite of fall-related outcomes) were defined using ICD-9-CM codes. Conditional logistic regression models were used to compare the fall-related events within 30 days, 90 days, 180 days, and 365 days between the 2 cohorts.


A total of 21,613 hypoglycemia patients were matched with 21,613 nonhypoglycemic patients. Patients with hypoglycemia had higher fall-related events within 30 days, 90 days, 180 days, and 365 days (P  less than  0.001 for all frequency differences). Conditional logistic regression analyses showed an elevated risk for fall-related events over 365 days (aOR = 1.95, 95% CI = 1.70-2.24). Subgroup analysis showed elevated risk for patients aged less than  75 years and ≥ 75 years. Elevated risks were also seen for individual fall-related outcomes of fractures, head injuries, long-term care placement, and hospital admissions.


The risk of fall-related events over 365 days increased 2-fold among elderly patients with diabetes who experienced hypoglycemia.

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