Objective: The objective is to report a contemporary population-based estimate of hypoglycemia requiring emergency medical services (EMS), its burden on medical resources, and its associated mortality in patients with or without diabetes mellitus (DM, non-DM), which will enable development of prospective strategies that will capture hypoglycemia promptly and provide an integrated approach for prevention of such episodes. Methods: We retrieved all ambulance calls activated for hypoglycemia in Olmsted County, Minnesota, between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2009. Results: A total of 1473 calls were made by 914 people (DM 8%, non-DM 16%, unknown DM status 3%). Mean age was 60 ± 16 years with 49% being female. A higher percentage of calls were made by DM patients (87%) with proportionally fewer calls coming from non-DM patients (11%) (chi-square test, p < .001), and the remaining 2% calls by people with unknown DM status. Emergency room transportation and hospitalization were significantly higher in non-DM patients compared to DM patients (p < .001) and type 2 diabetes mellitus compared to type 1 diabetes mellitus (p < .001). Sulphonylureas alone or in combination with insulin varied during the study period (p = .01). The change in incidence of EMS for hypoglycemia was tracked during this period. However, causality has not been established. Death occurred in 240 people, 1.2 (interquartile range 0.2-2.7) years after their first event. After adjusting for age, mortality was higher in non-DM patients compared with DM patients (p < .001) but was not diferent between the two types of DM. Conclusions: The population burden of EMS requiring hypoglycemia is high in both DM and non-DM patients, and imposes significant burden on medical resources. It is associated with long-term mortality.
- Emergency room transportation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Biomedical Engineering