Skip to main content

What are the ADA classifications of hypoglycemia?1

HYPOGLYCEMIA ALERT VALUE

(70 mg/dL)

Warning signal that should alert patients and caregivers of developing hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar1

CLINICALLY SIGNIFICANT HYPOGLYCEMIA

(<54 mg/dL)

Sufficiently low to indicate serious, clinically important hypoglycemia

SEVERE HYPOGLYCEMIA

(no specific glucose threshold)

Hypoglycemia associated with severe cognitive impairment requiring external assistance for recovery

Clinically significant and severe hypoglycemic events may result in1,2:

  • Fractures, joint dislocations, head injuriesa
  • Soft-tissue injuriesa
  • Convulsions, coma
  • Paralysis, transient ischemic events, focal lesions
  • Arrhythmias
  • Myocardial ischemia/infarction
  • Death
  • Fractures, joint dislocations, head injuriesa
  • Soft-tissue injuriesa
  • Convulsions, coma
  • Paralysis, transient ischemic events, focal lesions
  • Arrhythmias
  • Myocardial ischemia/infarction
  • Death

aAccidents causing personal injury may not be directly correlated to hypoglycemia. 

ADA=American Diabetes Association

Hypoglycemia is the major limiting factor in glycemic management1

Achieving glycemic control without hypoglycemia is a balancing act. Intensive therapy often increases the risk of hypoglycemia1,3

Scale balancing A1C and hypoglycemia

Despite having more treatment options, many patients with T2D are still not achieving their glycemic target

50.9% of patients had A1C <7.0%4

Uncontrolled A1C

45% of patients experience mild to moderate hypoglycemia5

Hypoglycemia


A1C=glycated hemoglobin

References:

  1. American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes—2018. Diabetes Care. 2018;41(suppl 1):S1-S159.
  2. Frier BM. The economic costs of hypoglycaemia. Br J Diabetes Vasc Dis. 2011;11(suppl 1):S10-S12.
  3. DCCT Research Group. Epidemiology of severe hypoglycemia in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial. Am J Med. 1991;90(4):450-459.
  4. Carls G, Huynh J, Tuttle E, Yee J, Edelman SV. Achievement of glycated hemoglobin goals in the US remains unchanged through 2014. Diabetes Ther. 2017;8(4):863-873. 
  5. Edridge CL, Dunkley AJ, Bodicoat DH, et al. Prevalence and incidence of hypoglycaemia in 532,542 people with type 2 diabetes on oral therapies and insulin: a systematic review and meta-analysis of population based studies. PLoS One. 2015;10(6):e0126427.