Type 2 Diabetes Patients Need More Individualized Care To Avoid Hypoglycemia, International Survey Warns
Researchers reporting the results at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) annual meeting (1-5 October 2012; Berlin, Germany) said the findings underline the need for individualised treatment and advice to take account of patients' lifestyle and risk factors.
The online survey interviewed 899 adults with type 2 diabetes from around the world: Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Results showed that individual lifestyle factors that can affect diabetes control, including work and cultural influences were not always addressed in diabetes check-ups. Just over three-quarters (76%) of patients did not recall discussing their occupation and working hours and 83% said they had not talked about cultural factors that might affect their blood glucose control, such as fasting.
Lack of understanding about factors that can reduce blood sugar may put patients with type 2 diabetes at increased risk factor for hypoglycemic episodes.
The survey showed that 53% of patients said they had experienced symptoms of low blood sugar at least once but only 37% had discussed management of hypoglycemia during routine check-ups; 28% said their physician had never talked to them about symptoms of low blood sugar and 6% were unsure about the topic.
"Patients and physicians need to discuss factors that can impact blood sugar control," said Dr Wasim Hanif, consultant physician at University Hospital Birmingham, UK, and chair of the committee that led the survey, which was supported by MSD. "To help improve diabetes management, physicians and patients need to discuss factors that can impact blood sugar control," he suggested. "A patient with diabetes who works night shifts or who fasts for religious reasons needs a different treatment plan than a patient who is retired or who works days."
Written by Susan Mayor PhD, medical journalist, London, UK