High blood sugar level may warn of future diabetes

Thu, 08 Jul 2010
People being treated in hospital for critical illnesses and are found to have hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, may become victims of diabetes in the future, a new report has revealed.

In a new study, published in the journal Critical Care, found a significant association between acute illness complicated with hyperglycaemia and the future development of type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance.

The research examined patients for five years after they were discharged from hospital. Of the 398 medical intensive care unit patients who were normoglycaemic during their hospital stay, 3.5 per cent developed type 2 diabetes. However, of the 193 patients who were in the hyperglycaemia group, 17.1 per cent developed this form of the disease.

Ivan Gornik, who led the study, said "Despite the fact that endocrine and metabolic changes probably occur in all acutely ill patients, evident hyperglycaemia is not always present. We hypothesised that hospital acquired hyperglycaemia can therefore reveal a patient's predisposition to impaired glucose control, which could in future lead to diabetes."

"Our results suggest that patients with hyperglycaemia during acute illness, who are not diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes during or immediately after hospitalisation, should be perceived as patients with increased risk of developing diabetes and should as such be regularly monitored and treated appropriately."
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