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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18-21

Risk factors for hypoglycemia in the elderly: A cross-sectional analytical study


Department of Medicine, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Jyothi Idiculla
Department of Medicine, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru - 560 034, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-9903.202004

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Background: Hypoglycemia is a side effect of stringent diabetes control especially in the geriatric population above sixty, who constitute approximately 90 million of the Indian population. This study was undertaken to explore the risk factors of hypoglycemia in elderly inpatients. Methods: Fifty patients who were found to have hypoglycemia either at admission or while admitted were enrolled. Their risk factors were compared with fifty age- and sex-matched inpatients admitted to medical wards who did not experience hypoglycemia. Results: The duration of diabetes was significantly longer (12.2 ± 7.9 vs. 9.4 ± 6.7 years; P = 0.023) in the group which experienced hypoglycemia. The mean glycated hemoglobin was significantly lower in the group which experienced hypoglycemia (6.73 ± 1.02 vs. 7.57 ± 1.39; P = 0.001). Of the fifty patients who developed hypoglycemia 26 were asymptomatic. Infection and renal failure were significantly higher in the study group. On multivariate analysis, infection was the only significant precipitating factor. Conclusion: With stringent blood glucose control elderly patients are at high risk of hypoglycemia. The risk is higher if the patients have renal failure and infection. Attempts should be made to identify such patients and to tailor their diabetic therapy to prevent hypoglycemic episodes.


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