Newer diabetes therapies 'cut hypoglycaemia' in Ramadan

People with type-2 diabetes who fast during Ramadan may be at lower risk of hypoglycaemia if they are treated with a DPP-4 inhibitor instead of a sulphonylurea, research suggests.

Dr Devasenan Devendra of Central Middlesex Hospital followed 54 diabetes patients fasting during Ramadan in 2008 for his study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

Patients were treated with either a sulphonylurea or the DPP-4 inhibitor vildagliptin. Of those given a sulphonylurea, 62% suffered a hypoglycaemia event, compared with 8% of those treated with vildagliptin.

Ramadan is due to start at the end of this week. Commenting on the implications of the study's results for patients with diabetes planning to fast, Dr Devendra said: ‘Before they start fasting, people with type-2 diabetes should speak with their doctor or nurse about their diabetes treatments and how best to take them.'

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