Background: Hypoglycemia is a commonly encountered acute complication among diabetic patients having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus (T1DM or T2DM). When severe and not early detected, hypoglycemia can be fatal. In Saudi Arabia, DM affects about 20% of the adult population. The present study aimed at evaluating the incidence of hypoglycemia and its risk factors among diabetic patients in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: A questionnaire-based, observational cross-sectional study was conducted on 400 Saudi adult patients aged between 18 and 65 years who have either T1DM or T2DM. Patients were selected using the non-probability consecutive sampling from residents of the East Providence of Saudi Arabia.
Results: The study included 400 patients with DM; patients ages ranged from 18 to 65 years. Most patients had T2DM (85.8%; 343). The incidence of hypoglycemia among the total studied diabetic patients was 90 (22.5%) in a year. Most diabetic patients were found to have excellent compliance with their medications (60%). On the other hand, they had less compliance with diet control (23.3%) and regular exercise (26.7%). The prevalence of reported hypoglycemia was marked among patients with T1DM (82.5%) compared to patients with T2DM (12.5%).
Conclusion: The most common event associated with hypoglycemia was eating after a long period of insulin intake. The most common symptoms of hypoglycemia were tremors, sweating, palpitation, and drowsiness. Food intake was the most frequent method used by patients to correct a hypoglycemic attack.
Key words: Incidence, hypoglycaemia, risk factors, diabetic patients, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia