Inpatient hypoglycemia means longer stays, especially for older patients with diabetes

  • Ruan Y & al.
  • Age Ageing
  • 17.10.2020

  • von Miriam Tucker
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Hypoglycemia is associated with increased length of stay (LOS) in all age groups with diabetes, especially those age >65 years.

Why this matters

  • Hypoglycemia during hospital admission is linked to poor outcomes and greater LOS, but these associations had not been stratified by age.

Study design

  • Study of 32,758 hospital admissions for 17,658 patients with diabetes from 4-year electronic UK data set, with analysis of all level 1 (blood glucose 
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • Incidence of level 1 hypoglycemia by age: 
    • All ages: 21.5%.
    • ≤65 years: 24.7%.
    • 65-80 years: 19.5%.
    • >80 years: 19.3%.
  • Incidence of level 2 hypoglycemia by age:
    • All ages: 9.6%.
    • ≤65 years: 11.1%.
    • 65-80 years: 8.8%.
    • >80 years: 8.5%.
  • LOS (days) by hypoglycemia status:
    • No hypoglycemia: 3.
    • Level 1: 8. 
    • Level 2: 9.
  • LOS (days) by age (years) with no hypoglycemia:
    • ≤65: 3.
    • 65-80: 3. 
    • >80: 4. 
  • All were lower (P<.01 for all pairwise comparisons vs los patients with level or hypoglycemia:>
  • LOS (days) with level 1 hypoglycemia, by age (years):
    • ≤65: 6.
    • 65-80: 10. 
    • >80: 12. 
  • LOS with level 2 hypoglycemia:
    • ≤65: 7.
    • 65-80: 11.
    • >80: 13.

Limitations

  • Differences in populations across age groups.
  • Some hypoglycemic events may not have been recorded.