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      Hypoglycemia: a review of definitions used in clinical trials evaluating antihyperglycemic drugs for diabetes

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          Abstract

          Objective

          To understand the severity and potential impact of heterogeneity in definitions of hypoglycemia used in diabetes research, we aimed to review the hypoglycemia definitions adopted in randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

          Methods

          We reviewed 109 RCTs included in the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health reports for the second- and third-line therapy for the patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D).

          Results

          Nearly 60% (n=66) of the studies reviewed presented the definitions for overall hypoglycemia, and another 20% (n=22) of the studies reported the results for hypoglycemia but did not report a definition. Among these 66 studies, only 9 (14%) followed the American Diabetes Association/European Medicines Agency specified guidelines to define hypoglycemia, with an exact threshold of plasma glucose ≤3.9 mmol/L. Fifty-two of the 66 studies (79%) used a threshold considerably lower than the recommended ≤3.9 mmol/L, and 16 studies used a threshold between 3.8 and 4.0 mmol/L. The proportion of the trials that used a cutoff value of <3.1 mmol/L appeared to be slightly similar among the more commonly used non-insulin treatments, GLP-1s (7 of 18 [39%]), thiazolidinediones (TZDs; 6 of 11 [55%]), DPP-4s (12 of 19 [64%]), and sulfonylureas (11 of 20 [55%]). Among trials with intermediate-long-acting insulins (neutral protamine Hagedorn insulin, detemir, glargine), 7 of 26 trials (27%) used a cutoff of <3.1 mmol/L. The definition of severe hypoglycemia was also subject to substantial heterogeneity, in both the utilized threshold and accompanying soft definitions.

          Conclusion

          This review demonstrates that substantial heterogeneity exists in the definition of overall, severe/major, and nocturnal hypoglycemia across RCTs investigating T2D interventions.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Pathophysiology and treatment of type 2 diabetes: perspectives on the past, present, and future.

          Glucose metabolism is normally regulated by a feedback loop including islet β cells and insulin-sensitive tissues, in which tissue sensitivity to insulin affects magnitude of β-cell response. If insulin resistance is present, β cells maintain normal glucose tolerance by increasing insulin output. Only when β cells cannot release sufficient insulin in the presence of insulin resistance do glucose concentrations rise. Although β-cell dysfunction has a clear genetic component, environmental changes play an essential part. Modern research approaches have helped to establish the important role that hexoses, aminoacids, and fatty acids have in insulin resistance and β-cell dysfunction, and the potential role of changes in the microbiome. Several new approaches for treatment have been developed, but more effective therapies to slow progressive loss of β-cell function are needed. Recent findings from clinical trials provide important information about methods to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes and some of the adverse effects of these interventions. However, additional long-term studies of drugs and bariatric surgery are needed to identify new ways to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes and thereby reduce the harmful effects of this disease. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Risk of hypoglycaemia in types 1 and 2 diabetes: effects of treatment modalities and their duration.

              (2007)
            We explored the epidemiology of hypoglycaemia in individuals with insulin-treated diabetes by testing the hypothesis that diabetes type and duration of insulin treatment influence the risk of hypoglycaemia. This was an observational study over 9-12 months in six UK secondary care diabetes centres. Altogether 383 patients were involved. Patients were divided into the following three treatment groups for type 2 diabetes: (1) sulfonylureas, (2) insulin for 5 years, and into two treatment groups for type 1 diabetes, namely 15 years disease duration. Self-reported (mild and severe) and biochemical episodes (interstitial glucose 15 years group, 3.2.episodes per subject-year). During early insulin use in type 2 diabetes, the frequency of hypoglycaemia is generally equivalent to that observed in patients treated with sulfonylureas and considerably lower than during the first 5 years of treatment in type 1 diabetes.
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              Efficacy and safety of exenatide once weekly versus sitagliptin or pioglitazone as an adjunct to metformin for treatment of type 2 diabetes (DURATION-2): a randomised trial.

              Most patients with type 2 diabetes begin pharmacotherapy with metformin, but eventually need additional treatment. We assessed the safety and efficacy of once weekly exenatide, a glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist, versus maximum approved doses of the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor, sitagliptin, or the thiazolidinedione, pioglitazone, in patients treated with metformin. In this 26-week randomised, double-blind, double-dummy, superiority trial, patients with type 2 diabetes who had been treated with metformin, and at baseline had mean glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)) of 8.5% (SD 1.1), fasting plasma glucose of 9.1 mmol/L (2.6), and weight of 88.0 kg (20.1), were enrolled and treated at 72 sites in the USA, India, and Mexico. Patients were randomly assigned to receive: 2 mg injected exenatide once weekly plus oral placebo once daily; 100 mg oral sitagliptin once daily plus injected placebo once weekly; or 45 mg oral pioglitazone once daily plus injected placebo once weekly. Primary endpoint was change in HbA(1c) between baseline and week 26. Analysis was by intention to treat, for all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00637273. 170 patients were assigned to receive once weekly exenatide, 172 to receive sitagliptin, and 172 to receive pioglitazone. 491 patients received at least one dose of study drug and were included in the intention-to-treat analysis (160 on exenatide, 166 on sitagliptin, and 165 on pioglitazone). Treatment with exenatide reduced HbA(1c) (least square mean -1.5%, 95% CI -1.7 to -1.4) significantly more than did sitagliptin (-0.9%, -1.1 to -0.7) or pioglitazone (-1.2%, -1.4 to -1.0). Treatment differences were -0.6% (95% CI -0.9 to -0.4, p<0.0001) for exenatide versus sitagliptin, and -0.3% (-0.6 to -0.1, p=0.0165) for exenatide versus pioglitazone. Weight loss with exenatide (-2.3 kg, 95% CI-2.9 to -1.7) was significantly greater than with sitagliptin (difference -1.5 kg, 95% CI -2.4 to -0.7, p=0.0002) or pioglitazone (difference -5.1 kg, -5.9 to -4.3, p<0.0001). No episodes of major hypoglycaemia occurred. The most frequent adverse events with exenatide and sitagliptin were nausea (n=38, 24%, and n=16, 10%, respectively) and diarrhoea (n=29, 18%, and n=16, 10%, respectively); upper-respiratory-tract infection (n=17, 10%) and peripheral oedema (n=13, 8%) were the most frequent events with pioglitazone. The goal of many clinicians who manage diabetes is to achieve optimum glucose control alongside weight loss and a minimum number of hypoglycaemic episodes. Addition of exenatide once weekly to metformin achieved this goal more often than did addition of maximum daily doses of either sitagliptin or pioglitazone. Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Clin Epidemiol
                Clin Epidemiol
                Clinical Epidemiology
                Clinical Epidemiology
                Dove Medical Press
                1179-1349
                2017
                23 May 2017
                : 9
                : 291-296
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby
                [2 ]Precision Health Economics, Vancouver, BC
                [3 ]Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Chakrapani Balijepalli, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada, Tel +1 604 336 3050 ext 111, Email chakrapani_balijepalli@ 123456sfu.ca
                Article
                clep-9-291
                10.2147/CLEP.S129268
                5448700
                © 2017 Balijepalli et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Review

                Public health

                diabetes, hypoglycemia, randomized controlled trials, heterogeneity, review

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