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BG Levels during Acute Illness Can Help Predict Future Diabetes Risk

Blood glucose levels measured in hospitalized patients during acute illness predicted the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the following three years…. 

Scottish researchers measured the blood glucose levels of 86,634 patients, aged 40 years or older admitted for an acute illness between 2004 and 2008. Patients were followed up to December 2011 to determine their type 2 diabetes risk.

The researchers reported that type 2 diabetes risk for patients with a glucose level of less than 90 mg/dl (5 mmol/l) was 1 percent and the number increased to approximately 15 percent among those with a glucose of 270 mg/dl (15 mmol/l) or more. Plus, the risk of developing diabetes increased with increasing blood glucose levels during admission.

Based on the findings, the researchers developed a risk calculator that uses the patient’s age, sex, and admission blood glucose level to predict risk of developing diabetes over 3 years following hospital admission. However, the risk calculator has not yet been tested in non-white populations or populations outside of Scotland.

The researchers said in a press release, "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." See this week’s Tool for your Practice.

PLOS Medicine August, 2014