Send to

Choose Destination
Diabet Med. 2016 Apr;33(4):471-7. doi: 10.1111/dme.12844. Epub 2015 Jul 16.

Severe hypoglycaemia in adults with insulin-treated diabetes: impact on healthcare resources.

Author information

Academic Unit of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
The Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
Medical & Science, Novo Nordisk A/S, Søborg, Denmark.
Health Economics & HTA, Novo Nordisk A/S, Søborg, Denmark.
Oxford Centre for Diabetes Endocrinology and Metabolism, Academic Health Science Network, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.



To assess resource utilization associated with severe hypoglycaemia across three insulin regimens in a large phase 3a clinical programme involving people with Type 1 diabetes treated with basal-bolus insulin, people with Type 2 diabetes treated with multiple daily injections and people with Type 2 diabetes treated with basal-oral therapy.


Data relating to severe hypoglycaemia events (defined as episodes requiring external assistance) from the insulin degludec and insulin degludec/insulin aspart programme (15 trials) were analysed using descriptive statistics. Comparators included insulin glargine, biphasic insulin aspart, insulin detemir and sitagliptin. Mealtime insulin aspart was used in some regimens. This analysis used the serious adverse events records, which documented the use of ambulance/emergency teams, a hospital/emergency room visit ≤ 24 h, or a hospital visit > 24 h.


In total, 536 severe hypoglycaemia events were analysed, of which 157 (29.3%) involved an ambulance/emergency team, 64 (11.9%) led to hospital/emergency room attendance of ≤ 24 h and 36 (6.7%) required hospital admission (> 24 h). Although there were fewer events in people with Type 2 diabetes compared with Type 1 diabetes, once a severe episode occurred, the tendency to utilize healthcare resources was higher in Type 2 diabetes vs. Type 1 diabetes. A higher proportion (47.6%) in the basal-oral therapy group required hospital treatment for > 24 h versus the Type 1 diabetes (5.0%) and Type 2 diabetes multiple daily injections (5.3%) groups.


This analysis suggests that severe hypoglycaemia events often result in emergency/ambulance calls and hospital treatment, incurring a substantial health economic burden, and were associated with all insulin regimens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances

Publication types

MeSH terms


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center