WEDNESDAY, Oct. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Hypoglycemic episodes may increase the risk for ventricular arrhythmia (VA) and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) among patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews.

Yu-Cheng Hsieh, M.D., Ph.D., from the Taichung Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan, and colleagues used the Taiwan National Health Insurance Database to identify patients aged ≥20 years with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. The risks for VA and SCA were compared in 1,037 patients with and 4,148 patients without a hypoglycemic episode.

During a mean follow-up period of 3.3 years, 29 VA/SCA events occurred. The researchers found that the patients with a hypoglycemic episode had a higher incidence of VA/SCA (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.42) compared with the control group. There was also an increased risk for VA/SCA seen among patients who had used insulin for glycemic control versus patients who did not use insulin (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.05).

“Patients possessing risk factors for developing hypoglycemia, or those using insulin or sulfonylurea for glycemic control, need to have their glycemic levels closely monitored to avoid hypoglycemia and minimize VA/SCA risks,” the authors write. “Implementation of [a] simulation education and case management program might not only improve glycemic control but also enhance the awareness of hypoglycemic symptoms in type 2 diabetes patients.”

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