J Korean Diabetes.  2016 Mar;17(1):11-16. 10.4093/jkd.2016.17.1.11.

Hypoglycemia and Health Costs

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine and Severance Hospital Diabetes Center, Seoul, Korea. edgo@yuhs.ac


Diabetes is one of the most common and rapidly increasing chronic metabolic disorders in the world. It causes serious complications and mortality, with a large burden to the public health care system and to individual patients. Hypoglycemia is an acute complication of diabetes that increases morbidity, mortality, and economic costs. It remains a major limiting factor in the attainment of optimal glycemic control in patients with diabetes. Medical expenditures for potentially preventable severe hypoglycemia are substantial, with the highest proportion of direct medical costs resulting from a relatively small number of patients. Severe hypoglycemia, which is generally associated with insulin or sulfonylurea therapy, can be serious, and hospitalization has been a major driver of increasing healthcare resource use and costs. Patients with increased numbers of non-severe hypoglycemia events are at risk for long-term complications and mortality, reductions in quality of life, increased fear and anxiety, reduced work productivity, and increased healthcare costs. Although the prevalence and incidence of hypoglycemia in diabetes are rapidly increasing in Korea, the economic consequences of hypoglycemia remain unclear.


Diabetes mellitus; Health care costs; Hypoglycemia

MeSH Terms

Delivery of Health Care
Diabetes Mellitus
Health Care Costs*
Health Expenditures
Public Health
Quality of Life



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