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Hypoglycemia More Common in Chronic Kidney Disease

Last Updated: May 14, 2009.

Patients with chronic kidney disease may be at higher risk of hypoglycemia, even in the absence of diabetes, according to research published online May 7 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be at higher risk of hypoglycemia, even in the absence of diabetes, according to research published online May 7 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Maureen F. Moen, of the University of Maryland in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data from the Veterans Health Administration on 243,222 patients. Researchers evaluated the incidence of hypoglycemia in patients with and without CKD and with and without diabetes, as well as mortality within one day of hypoglycemia.

The rate of hypoglycemia was higher in patients with CKD, as well as those with diabetes; rates were substantially higher in patients with both conditions compared to only one. Hypoglycemia in an inpatient or outpatient setting was associated with one-day mortality, but the relative risk of death was higher with outpatient hypoglycemia. Mortality risk was somewhat lessened in patients with CKD compared to patients without it.

"The risk for death, whether experienced in or out of the hospital, is increased within one day of a hypoglycemic event. Although the extent to which the increased risk for hypoglycemia is iatrogenic or due to medical therapy is unknown, this metabolic disturbance should be considered an important patient safety outcome in CKD or diabetes populations," the authors conclude.

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