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Chronic Hyperglycemia Can Affect Surgical Outcomes

Mar 27, 2014

Hyperglycemia may affect how long patients stay in the hospital after surgery…. 

In a retrospective study obtained from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database, researchers randomly selected 1,775 patients with diabetes who had surgery at the Brigham and Women’s hospital between 2005 and 2010. Patients with cardiac surgeries and/or undergoing same-day surgeries were excluded from this study. For patients who underwent multiple surgeries, only the first surgery was analyzed. The NSQIP database does not include HbA1c levels or other diagnoses; therefore the Research Patient Data Registry was used to collect any missing data. All patients included in this study were placed in one of four groups according his or her HbA1c levels. One group was for participants with HbA1c levels equal to or less than 6.5%; the next group had HbA1c levels between 6.5% and 8%. The third group had HbA1c levels between 8% and 10% and the last group had HbA1c greater than 10%.


Multivariate regression analysis was used to analyze the results; adjustments were made for age, sex, BMI, race, and type of surgery. Of the 1,775 patients, only 622 patients knew/ had his or her HbA1c within 3 months prior to surgery. Participants with HbA1c levels between 6.5% and 8% had a hospital length of stay (LOS) similar to the matched control group. Participants in the other three groups had a significantly lower LOS than the control group.

Underwood P, Askari R, Hurwitz S, et. al. Preoperative A1C and Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Diabetes Undergoing Major Noncardiac Surgical Procedures. Diabetes Care. 2014 Mar. 37:611-616. Doi:10.2337/dc13-1929.