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Diabetes Prevalence Increased in Hospitalized Patients

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 08 Sep 2017
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Image: Research shows people with diabetes are found more often among hospitalized or intensive care units (ICU) patients than among the general population (Photo courtesy of iStock).
Image: Research shows people with diabetes are found more often among hospitalized or intensive care units (ICU) patients than among the general population (Photo courtesy of iStock).
The prevalence of diabetes is increasing in Germany and at present, the metabolic disease affects almost one in ten individuals. It is known that people with diabetes are found more often among hospitalized or intensive care units (ICU) patients than among the general population.

In fact hardly any data are available on the prevalence of diabetes in hospitals. Therefore, scientists have assessed the diabetes prevalence, proportion of undiagnosed cases, the effectiveness of diabetes screening in a university hospital, the consequences for hospital stay and acquired complications.

Scientists at the University Hospital Tȕbingen (Tübingen Germany) screened 3,733 adult patients in Tübingen University Hospital for diabetes and prediabetes over a period of four weeks where blood samples were available. Diabetes diagnosis was defined as HbA1c equal to or greater than 6.5% and/or previously documented diabetes diagnosis; prediabetes was defined as HbA1c equal to or less than 5.7% and less than 6.5% without history of previous diabetes.

The result of the screening was that almost every fourth hospital patient suffered from diabetes (22%) that had a long-term blood glucose level (HbA1c value) of 6.5 % or higher. 24% of the patients in the study had a long-term blood glucose value between 5.7% and 6.4%. These values indicate an early stage of diabetes (prediabetes). Nearly 4% of the investigated patients had undiagnosed diabetes. The study also showed that patients with diabetes required treatment in the hospital approximately 1.47 days longer than patients with the same diagnosis without diabetes or prediabetes. The affected patients also had a higher risk of complications: 24% of the patients with diabetes experienced complications. In comparison, only 15% of the patients without diabetes were affected by complications.

The authors concluded that every fourth patient in the university hospital had diabetes and every second had either prediabetes or diabetes. It is also worthwhile to screen for unknown diabetes in patients over the age of 50. The high prevalence and negative consequences of diabetes require-screening and intensified specialized diabetes treatment in hospitals. The prevalence of hospital-acquired complications was higher in diabetic patients 197 of 630 compared with no diabetes: 447 of 2,459. The study was published on July 27, 2017, in the journal Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes.

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