Authors: Dalal MR, Kazemi M, Ye F, Xie L.

Introduction: Hypoglycemia and fear of hypoglycemia may contribute to basal insulin discontinuation, poor glycemic control, and increased healthcare burden in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). This study aimed to determine the impact of hypoglycemia soon after basal insulin initiation on treatment discontinuation and economic outcomes in patients with T2D.

Methods: Hypoglycemic events within 6 months of basal insulin initiation were identified using retrospective cohort data from patients with T2D, at least 18 years of age, initiated on basal insulin therapy in the Clinformatics™ Data Mart for Multiplan claims database from January 1, 2008, through August 31, 2012. Data were adjusted for baseline characteristics. Discontinuation was established for patients with 12-month follow-up data, while discontinuation risk was assessed in the extended analysis (6- to 24-month follow-up) by Cox regression analysis. Healthcare use and costs were determined.

Results: Of 55,608 patients, 4.5% experienced hypoglycemia within 6 months of basal insulin initiation. Patients with hypoglycemia were more likely to discontinue basal insulin within 12 months of initiation (79.0% vs. 74.2%; P < 0.001). Data, adjusted for baseline characteristics such as age, any baseline hypoglycemia, and use of oral antidiabetes drugs, showed that patients with hypoglycemia had a greater risk of discontinuation (hazard ratio 1.16; 95% confidence interval 1.03, 1.32; P = 0.0164), were more likely to have a hospitalization (41.0% vs. 24.3%; P < 0.001) or an ED visit (55.8% vs. 35.1%; P < 0.001), and had higher diabetes-related ($13,662 vs. $7506; P < 0.001) and all-cause ($30,719 vs. $19,079; P < 0.001) healthcare costs.

Conclusions: US patients with T2D who experienced hypoglycemia within 6 months of basal insulin initiation were more likely to discontinue treatment, accompanied by a greater healthcare burden.

For full text PDF click here

Sign up to receive communications