Severe Lows Often Lead to Hospital Stays
Too much insulin can cause severe blood glucose lows (hypoglycemia) that require the assistance of others, but no one knows how often these dangerous episodes occur. To get an estimate of hypoglycemia rates in the United States, researchers analyzed admissions data between 2007 and 2011 from 63 hospitals spread across the country. They found that there were almost 100,000 emergency room visits for hypoglycemia each year, with almost a third leading to hospitalization. People ages 80 and older were at twice the risk for a hypoglycemia-related emergency room visit and at five times the risk for hospitalization compared with younger people. Insulin mix-ups and skipped meals were the most common reasons for blood glucose lows.
Source: JAMA Internal Medicine, published online March 10, 2014