Blood Glucose Levels taken in Hospitals can Predict Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body no longer processes insulin properly. Even though the disease can be highly manageable through diet and medications, it has to be diagnosed first. In a new study, researchers examined the effects of measuring blood glucose levels at the hospital. They found that testing hospital patients' blood sugar levels during admission could help predict their risk of developing type 2 diabetes for up to three years.
For this study headed by David McAllister from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, the researchers measured the blood glucose levels in patients who were hospitalized from 2004 to 2008. There were a total of 86,634 patients aged 40 or older. They were admitted to a hospital in Scotland for an acute illness. The researchers used data from the Scottish Care Information - Diabetes Collaboration National Registry to determine who developed type 2 diabetes in 2011.
Overall, patients had a 2.3 percent three-year risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For patients with glucose levels that were less than 5 mmol/l (90 mg/dl), their three-year risk for type 2 diabetes was one percent. For patients with levels that were higher than 15mmol/l (270 mg/dl), their three-year risk increased to about 15 percent.
"These findings can be used to inform individual patients of their long-term risk of type 2 diabetes and to offer lifestyle advice as appropriate," the authors concluded according to the press release.
Based on these findings, the researchers created a risk calculator. The calculator factors in the patient's age, sex and blood glucose level that was measured during admission to determine the patients' three-year risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The team cautioned that the study only focused on hospital patients from Scotland. The calculator's accuracy in predicting type 2 diabetes risk in other populations with varying racial backgrounds is unknown.
The study, "Stress Hyperglycaemia in Hospitalised Patients and Their 3-Year Risk of Diabetes: A Scottish Retrospective Cohort Study," was published in PLOS Medicine.