A new study has revealed that diabetics with normal blood sugar levels before undergoing non-heart surgery had a greater risk of death in the year following surgery as compared to people without diabetes . It was also found that non-diabetics that had a high level of blood sugar prior to surgery also had an increased risk of death after a surgical procedure.
The study examined information from over 60,000 non-cardiac surgeries, with around 16 per cent of the surgical patients having diabetes. After comparisons, it was shown that those with diabetes had between an 8 per cent and 11 per cent risk of dying in the year following surgery, while those with lower blood sugar levels before surgery had a risk of death between 10 per cent and 18 per cent.
However, it was also found that non-diabetics with a high blood sugar level had more than an 11 per cent risk of death in the year after surgery compared to just 3–5 per cent for non-diabetics with lower blood sugar levels.
Dr. Basem Abdelmalak, director of anesthesia for bronchoscopic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, “When we looked at blood sugar levels and the likelihood of complications after surgery, we didn’t see a significant difference between diabetics and non-diabetics. But, when we looked at the long-term outcomes, we found significant differences between diabetics and non-diabetics.”
One theory for non-diabetics with high blood sugar levels having an increased risk of death is that they may have undiagnosed diabetes . For people with a low blood sugar level being more likely to die in the year after surgery, this could be because the body gets used to living with these blood sugar levels.

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