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Predictors of hypoglycemia in hospitalized patients with diabetes mellitus.

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eMediNexus Editorial    27 January 2018

Hypoglycemia is common among hospitalized patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.

A new study published in Internal and Emergency Medicine aimed to identify the pre-admission risk factors associated with in-hospital hypoglycemia.

This study considered historical prospectively collected data of 5301 adult DM patients hospitalized between 2011 and 2013, with a mean age of 73 ± 13 years, of which 51% were males. Among these, 792 patients were with hypoglycemia, of which 392 had serious hypoglycemia.

The findings revealed that patients with hypoglycemia or serious hypoglycemia were older and had higher predisposition for chronic renal failure and cerebrovascular disease compared to patients without hypoglycemia. Additionally, malignancy and female gender were risk factors for hypoglycemia, but not for serious hypoglycemia. On the other hand, congestive heart failure was associated with increased risk only for serious hypoglycemia. Meanwhile, diabetes mellitus of over 10 years’ duration was associated with a three-fold increased risk for hypoglycemia, when compared to DM duration less than a year. Furthermore, insulin treatment and glycated hemoglobin > 9% were more frequent in patients with hypoglycemia. Also, insulin treatment was associated with a four-fold increase in the risk for hypoglycemia among all glycated hemoglobin categories.

Hence, the results of this study identified several risk factors for in-hospital hypoglycemia in patients with DM. It was stated that these findings may facilitate appropriate monitoring and early intervention to prevent hypoglycemia and to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with in-hospital hypoglycemia.

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