HealthDay News — A new set of quality measures can help health care providers identify older adults with type 2 diabetes who are at increased risk for hypoglycemia, according to an article published online Dec. 11 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
James L. Rosenzweig, M.D., from Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, and colleagues from an Endocrine Society expert panel, reviewed guidelines and scientific statements to develop quality measures to help health care providers assess how well they identify and care for older adults at greater risk for hypoglycemia. The measures focus on outpatient hypoglycemia episodes for patients ≥65 years old with type 2 diabetes.
The quality measures outline key risk factors that raise an individual’s chances of developing hypoglycemia and emphasize the importance of people who meet these criteria receiving education to help prevent future episodes. Identified key risk factors include the following: (1) a hypoglycemic event during which blood glucose levels dropped to <54 mg/dL and required immediate attention within the past year; (2) experiencing an altered mental or physical status requiring assistance during a severe hypoglycemic event in the past year; and (3) among individuals who manage their blood sugar with insulin or medicines like sulfonylureas that increase the risk for hypoglycemia, either a documented hemoglobin A1c of less than 7 percent in the past six months or at least one other relevant chronic medical problem.
“Hypoglycemia is an area where we can make meaningful strides in improving diabetes care,” Rosenzweig said in a statement. “Our research has shown a lack of widespread initiatives to address this issue. These first-of-their-kind quality measures will help clinicians better identify patients who are at risk and combat hypoglycemia.”
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.