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Concept: Hypoglycemia


Since the first ADA working group report on the recommendations for management of diabetes during Ramadan in 2005 and our update in 2010, we received many inquiries asking for regular updates on information regarding education, nutritional habits and new oral and injectable agents that may be useful for the management of patients with diabetes during Ramadan. Patients can be stratified into their risk of hypoglycemia and/or complications prior to the start of the fasting period of Ramadan. Those at high risk of hypoglycemia and with multiple diabetic complications should be advised against prolonged fasting. Even in the lower hypoglycemia risk group, adverse effects may still occur. In order to minimize adverse side effects during fasting in patients with diabetes and improve or maintain glucose control, education and discussion of glucose monitoring and treatment regimens should occur several weeks prior to Ramadan. Agents such as metformin, thiazolidinediones and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors appear to be safe and do not need dose adjustment. Most sulfonylureas may not be used safely during Ramadan except with extreme caution; besides, older agents, such as chlorpropamide or glyburide, should not be used. Reduction of the dosage of sulfonylurea is needed depending on the degree of control prior to fasting. Misconceptions and local habits should be addressed and dealt with in any educational intervention and therapeutic planning with patients with diabetes. In this regard, efforts are still needed for controlled prospective studies in the field of efficacy and safety of the different interventions during the Ramadan Fast.

Concepts: Therapeutic effect, Nutrition, Diabetes mellitus, Hypoglycemia, Sulfonylurea, Metformin, Adverse drug reaction, Fasting


Hypoglycemia is a common complication of insulin treatment in type 1 diabetes mellitus and can occur in any patient with diabetes when glucose consumption exceeds supply. Many studies have been done to elucidate those factors that predict severe hypoglycemia: younger age, longer duration of diabetes, lower HgbA1c, higher insulin dose, lower Body Mass Index, male gender, Caucasian race, underinsurance or low socioeconomic status, and the presence of psychiatric disorders. Hypoglycemia can affect patients' relationships, occupation, and daily activities such as driving. However, one of the greatest impacts is patients' fear of severe hypoglycemic events, which is a limiting factor in the optimization of glycemic control. Therefore, the importance of clinicians' ability to identify those patients at greatest risk for hypoglycemic events is two-fold: 1) Patients at greatest risk may be counseled as such and offered newer therapies and monitoring technologies to prevent hypoglycemic events. 2) Patients at lower risk may be reassured and encouraged to improve their glycemic control. Since the risk of long-term complications with poor blood glucose control outweighs the risks of hypoglycemia with good blood glucose control, patients should be encouraged to aim for glucose concentrations in the physiologic range pre- and post-prandially. Advancements in care, including multiple daily injection therapy with analog insulin, continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion, and continuous glucose monitoring, have each subsequently improved glycemic control and decreased the risk of severe hypoglycemia.

Concepts: Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Diabetes mellitus type 1, Obesity, Glucagon, Diabetes, Blood sugar, Hypoglycemia


OBJECTIVES: Older patients are particularly vulnerable to hypoglycaemia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the response to initiation of once-daily insulin detemir in patients aged ≥75 years with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) treated with one or more oral antidiabetic drugs (OADs). METHODS: A sub-analysis was conducted using data from SOLVE (Study of Once daily LeVEmir), a 24-week observational study involving 3,219 investigators and 2,817 project sites from ten countries. Routine clinical practice was followed; there were no study-prescribed procedures. The total cohort comprised 17,374 participants, of whom 2,398 (14 %) were aged ≥75 years. The physicians collected information from patient recall, the patients' medical records and their self-monitored blood glucose diaries (if kept). RESULTS: Pre-insulin glycated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)) was similar between participants aged ≥75 years and those aged <75 years (HbA(1c) 8.8 ± 1.5 % vs. 8.9 ± 1.6 % [mean ± SD], respectively). After 24 weeks of treatment, similar reductions in HbA(1c) were observed in the two subgroups: 7.6 ± 1.1 % and 7.5 ± 1.2 % in participants aged ≥75 years and those aged <75 years, respectively. The incidence of severe hypoglycaemia (episodes per patient-year) decreased during the study in both age groups (from 0.057 to 0.007 in patients aged ≥75 years; from 0.042 to 0.005 in patients aged <75 years), while minor hypoglycaemia increased from 1.1 to 2.0 and from 1.7 to 1.8 episodes per patient-year in the older and younger age groups, respectively. Average weight reduction was similar in both groups: -0.5 kg (≥75 years) and -0.6 kg (<75 years). CONCLUSION: In both the older and younger age groups, the addition of once-daily insulin detemir to existing OAD regimens was effective and safe. In older patients, an improvement in HbA(1c) of 1.2 % was not associated with an increased risk of severe hypoglycaemia or weight gain.

Concepts: Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Diabetes, Hypoglycemia, Anti-diabetic drug, Sulfonylurea


Evidence suggests that clinical outcomes for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus can be improved through multifactorial treatment. The key challenges in the successful treatment of type 2 diabetes include maintaining tight glycemic control, minimizing the risk of hypoglycemia, controlling cardiovascular risk factors, and reducing or controlling weight. The aim of the present analysis was to evaluate the cost per patient achieving a composite clinical end point (glycosylated hemoglobin <7%, with no weight gain and no hypoglycemic events) in patients with type 2 diabetes in Quebec, Quebec, Canada, receiving liraglutide 1.2 mg, liraglutide 1.8 mg, thiazolidinedione, sulfonylurea, insulin glargine, sitagliptin, or exenatide.

Concepts: Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Diabetes, Insulin resistance, Hypoglycemia, Sulfonylurea


Individuals with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) are often exposed to recurrent episodes of hypoglycaemia. This reduces hormonal and behavioural responses that normally counteract low glucose in order to maintain glucose homeostasis, with altered responsiveness of glucose sensing hypothalamic neurons implicated. Although the molecular mechanisms are unknown, pharmacological studies implicate hypothalamic ATP-sensitive potassium channel (KATP) activity, with KATP openers (KCOs) amplifying, through cell hyperpolarization, the response to hypoglycaemia. Although initial findings, using acute hypothalamic KCO delivery, in rats were promising, chronic exposure to the KCO NN414 worsened the responses to subsequent hypoglycaemic challenge. To investigate this further we used GT1-7 cells to explore how NN414 affected glucose-sensing behaviour, the metabolic response of cells to hypoglycaemia and KATP activity. GT1-7 cells exposed to 3 or 24 h NN414 exhibited an attenuated hyperpolarization to subsequent hypoglycaemic challenge or NN414, which correlated with diminished KATP activity. The reduced sensitivity to hypoglycaemia was apparent 24 h after NN414 removal, even though intrinsic KATP activity recovered. The NN414-modified glucose responsiveness was not associated with adaptations in glucose uptake, metabolism or oxidation. KATP inactivation by NN414 was prevented by the concurrent presence of tolbutamide, which maintains KATP closure. Single channel recordings indicate that NN414 alters KATP intrinsic gating inducing a stable closed or inactivated state. These data indicate that exposure of hypothalamic glucose sensing cells to chronic NN414 drives a sustained conformational change to KATP, probably by binding to SUR1, that results in loss of channel sensitivity to intrinsic metabolic factors such as MgADP and small molecule agonists.

Concepts: Protein, Metabolism, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Blood sugar, Action potential, Hypoglycemia, Behavior


Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems could improve glycemic control in critically ill patients. We aimed to identify the evidence on the clinical benefits and accuracy of CGM systems in these patients. For this, we performed a systematic search in Ovid MEDLINE, from inception to 26 July 2016. Outcomes were efficacy, accuracy, safety, workload and costs. Our search retrieved 356 articles, of which 37 were included. Randomized controlled trials on efficacy were scarce (n = 5) and show methodological limitations. CGM with automated insulin infusion improved time in target and mean glucose in one trial and two trials showed a decrease in hypoglycemic episodes and time in hypoglycemia. Thirty-two articles assessed accuracy, which was overall moderate to good, the latter mainly with intravascular devices. Accuracy in critically ill children seemed lower than in adults. Adverse events were rare. One study investigated the effect on workload and cost, and showed a significant reduction in both. In conclusion, studies on the efficacy and accuracy were heterogeneous and difficult to compare. There was no consistent clinical benefit in the small number of studies available. Overall accuracy was moderate to good with some intravascular devices. CGM systems seemed however safe, and might positively affect workload and costs.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Hypoglycemia, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical research, Adverse event, Employee benefit


Despite the well-recognised health benefits of fresh fruit consumption, substantial uncertainties remain about its potential effects on incident diabetes and, among those with diabetes, on risks of death and major vascular complications.

Concepts: Health insurance, Nutrition, Diabetes mellitus, The Canon of Medicine, Hypoglycemia, Uncertainty


Background The feasibility, safety, and efficacy of prolonged use of an artificial beta cell (closed-loop insulin-delivery system) in the home setting have not been established. Methods In two multicenter, crossover, randomized, controlled studies conducted under free-living home conditions, we compared closed-loop insulin delivery with sensor-augmented pump therapy in 58 patients with type 1 diabetes. The closed-loop system was used day and night by 33 adults and overnight by 25 children and adolescents. Participants used the closed-loop system for a 12-week period and sensor-augmented pump therapy (control) for a similar period. The primary end point was the proportion of time that the glucose level was between 70 mg and 180 mg per deciliter for adults and between 70 mg and 145 mg per deciliter for children and adolescents. Results Among adults, the proportion of time that the glucose level was in the target range was 11.0 percentage points (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.1 to 13.8) greater with the use of the closed-loop system day and night than with control therapy (P<0.001). The mean glucose level was lower during the closed-loop phase than during the control phase (difference, -11 mg per deciliter; 95% CI, -17 to -6; P<0.001), as were the area under the curve for the period when the glucose level was less than 63 mg per deciliter (39% lower; 95% CI, 24 to 51; P<0.001) and the mean glycated hemoglobin level (difference, -0.3%; 95% CI, -0.5 to -0.1; P=0.002). Among children and adolescents, the proportion of time with the nighttime glucose level in the target range was higher during the closed-loop phase than during the control phase (by 24.7 percentage points; 95% CI, 20.6 to 28.7; P<0.001), and the mean nighttime glucose level was lower (difference, -29 mg per deciliter; 95% CI, -39 to -20; P<0.001). The area under the curve for the period in which the day-and-night glucose levels were less than 63 mg per deciliter was lower by 42% (95% CI, 4 to 65; P=0.03). Three severe hypoglycemic episodes occurred during the closed-loop phase when the closed-loop system was not in use. Conclusions Among patients with type 1 diabetes, 12-week use of a closed-loop system, as compared with sensor-augmented pump therapy, improved glucose control, reduced hypoglycemia, and, in adults, resulted in a lower glycated hemoglobin level. (Funded by the JDRF and others; AP@home04 and APCam08 numbers, NCT01961622 and NCT01778348 .).

Concepts: Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Diabetes mellitus type 1, Diabetes, Blood sugar, Hypoglycemia, Glycated hemoglobin, Glycation


Background The threshold-suspend feature of sensor-augmented insulin pumps is designed to minimize the risk of hypoglycemia by interrupting insulin delivery at a preset sensor glucose value. We evaluated sensor-augmented insulin-pump therapy with and without the threshold-suspend feature in patients with nocturnal hypoglycemia. Methods We randomly assigned patients with type 1 diabetes and documented nocturnal hypoglycemia to receive sensor-augmented insulin-pump therapy with or without the threshold-suspend feature for 3 months. The primary safety outcome was the change in the glycated hemoglobin level. The primary efficacy outcome was the area under the curve (AUC) for nocturnal hypoglycemic events. Two-hour threshold-suspend events were analyzed with respect to subsequent sensor glucose values. Results A total of 247 patients were randomly assigned to receive sensor-augmented insulin-pump therapy with the threshold-suspend feature (threshold-suspend group, 121 patients) or standard sensor-augmented insulin-pump therapy (control group, 126 patients). The changes in glycated hemoglobin values were similar in the two groups. The mean AUC for nocturnal hypoglycemic events was 37.5% lower in the threshold-suspend group than in the control group (980±1200 mg per deciliter [54.4±66.6 mmol per liter]×minutes vs. 1568±1995 mg per deciliter [87.0±110.7 mmol per liter]×minutes, P<0.001). Nocturnal hypoglycemic events occurred 31.8% less frequently in the threshold-suspend group than in the control group (1.5±1.0 vs. 2.2±1.3 per patient-week, P<0.001). The percentages of nocturnal sensor glucose values of less than 50 mg per deciliter (2.8 mmol per liter), 50 to less than 60 mg per deciliter (3.3 mmol per liter), and 60 to less than 70 mg per deciliter (3.9 mmol per liter) were significantly reduced in the threshold-suspend group (P<0.001 for each range). After 1438 instances at night in which the pump was stopped for 2 hours, the mean sensor glucose value was 92.6±40.7 mg per deciliter (5.1±2.3 mmol per liter). Four patients (all in the control group) had a severe hypoglycemic event; no patients had diabetic ketoacidosis. Conclusions This study showed that over a 3-month period the use of sensor-augmented insulin-pump therapy with the threshold-suspend feature reduced nocturnal hypoglycemia, without increasing glycated hemoglobin values. (Funded by Medtronic MiniMed; ASPIRE number, NCT01497938 .).

Concepts: Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Diabetes mellitus type 1, Diabetes, Blood sugar, Hypoglycemia, Glucose meter, Hyperglycemia


Glucagon secretion dysregulation in diabetes fosters hyperglycemia. Recent studies report that mice lacking glucagon receptor (Gcgr(-/-)) do not develop diabetes following streptozotocin (STZ)-mediated ablation of insulin-producing β-cells. Here, we show that diabetes prevention in STZ-treated Gcgr(-/-) animals requires remnant insulin action originating from spared residual β-cells: these mice indeed became hyperglycemic after insulin receptor blockade. Accordingly, Gcgr(-/-) mice developed hyperglycemia after induction of a more complete, diphtheria toxin (DT)-induced β-cell loss, a situation of near-absolute insulin deficiency similar to type 1 diabetes. In addition, glucagon deficiency did not impair the natural capacity of ncy did not impair the natural capacity α-cells to reprogram into insulin production after extreme β-cell loss. α-to-β-cell conversion was improved in Gcgr(-/-) mice as a consequence of α-cell hyperplasia. Collectively, these results indicate that glucagon antagonism could i) be a useful adjuvant therapy in diabetes only when residual insulin action persists, and ii) help devising future β-cell regeneration therapies relying upon α-cell reprogramming.

Concepts: Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Hormone, Diabetes mellitus type 1, Glucagon, Insulin resistance, Hypoglycemia, Hyperglycemia