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Medical News & Perspectives
June 26, 2013

Avoiding Hypoglycemia at All Costs Is Crucial for Some With Diabetes

JAMA. 2013;309(24):2536-2537. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.6321

After 20 years of urging clinicians to maintain absolute intensive glycemic targets in patients with diabetes to reduce microvascular complications of the disease, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Endocrine Society are now advising clinicians that for some patients, preventing hypoglycemia is more important than tight glycemic control.

“We’ve never said that before,” says John Anderson, MD, president of medicine and science at the ADA and one of the authors of a new consensus report from the 2 organizations (Seaquist ER et al. Diabetes Care. doi: 10.2337/dc12-2480 [published online April 15, 2013]). The report reviews the evidence linking hypoglycemia to adverse outcomes—particularly among elderly individuals, children younger than 5 years, and those with hypoglycemia unawareness—and guides physicians on setting treatment targets to reduce the incidence of hypoglycemia.