Hypoglycemia can negatively impact many aspects of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) management. The aim was to determine the impact of hypoglycemia and the fear for hypoglycemic episodes on HRQoL in T2DM patients in Spain, as well as healthcare professionals’ attitudes and knowledge of these issues.
An observational, cross-sectional study, with consecutive recruitment of T2DM patients in 661 healthcare centers, between September 2010 and May 2011. Sociodemographic and clinical variables were recorded. HRQoL (ADDQoL questionnaire) and fear for hypoglycemia (HFS-II) were evaluated. Two groups were compared: with and without reported hypoglycemia in the previous 6 months. Physicians responded 4 questions (visual analog scales).
4.054 patients participated, of which 3812 were selected [mean age (SD)=64 (11) years; male=54%; 10 (7) years for diagnostic of T2DM]. Patients with hypoglycemia (45%) expressed higher fear for hypoglycemia [31.32 (15.71) vs. 18.85 (16.03); p<.0001] and the overall impact of T2DM on their HRQoL was more negative [−2.48 (1.61) vs. −1.64 (1.36); p<.001]. Respondent physicians occasionally used HRQoL questionnaires, knew about hypoglycemia risk, explored fear for hypoglycemia and modified treatments accordingly.
T2DM patients with hypoglycemia show an increase of fear for them, negatively affecting T2DM patients HRQoL. However physicians know the risk of hypoglycemia, they explore the fear for hypoglycemic episodes occasionally.