Incidence of hypoglycaemia in the South African population with diabetes: results from the IDMPS Wave 7 study

  • Hilton Kaplan Centre of Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • Aslam Amod University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Francois H van Zyl Worcester Mediclinic
  • Jeevren Reddy Stanger Manor
  • Alet Van Tonder Sanofi
  • Ellina Tsymbal Sanofi
  • Alicia McMaster Sanofi
Keywords: HbA1c, hypoglycaemia, hypoglycaemia unawareness, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes


Objectives: Management of diabetes is a balancing act of preventing a state of hyperglycaemia while avoiding episodes of hypoglycaemia. Limited information is currently available on the incidence of hypoglycaemia in South African people diagnosed with diabetes. Data regarding the management of diabetes and incidence of hypoglycaemia in the South African population was collected as part of Wave 7 of the International Diabetes Management Practices Study (IDMPS). 

Design and methods: During this observational study the first 10 adult individuals with type 2 diabetes and the first five adult individuals with type 1 diabetes presenting to a study site during the two-week study period were enrolled.

Setting: Patients were enrolled from the private healthcare sector in South Africa only.

Subjects: A total of 445 individuals (49 diagnosed with T1D, 396 diagnosed with T2D) were included.

Outcome measures: Glycated haemoglobin and hypoglycaemia data were recorded for each patient.

Results: Of the patients who reported experiencing hypoglycaemia, 48.6% (17/35) among T1D individuals and 67.8% (40/71) among T2D individuals experienced hypoglycaemia over a four-week period. Furthermore, in patients who discontinued insulin treatment (n = 11), fear of hypoglycaemia was reported to influence adherence to insulin treatment by 27.3% in T1D and T2D individuals. Of the 148 patients not achieving their HbA1c target, 23.0% reported fear of hypoglycaemia as a reason.

Conclusions: This report demonstrates the need to address hypoglycaemia and fear of hypoglycaemia in the South African diabetes population.

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Author Biographies

Hilton Kaplan, Centre of Diabetes and Endocrinology

Centre of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Claremont, South Africa

Aslam Amod, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Francois H van Zyl, Worcester Mediclinic

Worcester Mediclinic, Worcester, South Africa

Jeevren Reddy, Stanger Manor

Stanger Manor, KwaDukuza, South Africa

Alet Van Tonder, Sanofi

Sanofi, Johannesburg, South Africa

Ellina Tsymbal, Sanofi

Sanofi, Johannesburg, South Africa

Alicia McMaster, Sanofi

Sanofi, Johannesburg, South Africa

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